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Professor Jan Thomas, University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Vice-Chancellor and President, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Universities Australia (UA), the country’s peak body for the higher education sector.

Representing the national efforts of Australian universities, UA strongly advocates to broaden opportunities to attend university and for all sectors of industry, manufacturing, commerce and the community to support the value and benefits of higher education for Australia.

Announcing her appointment on May 17, Universities Australia Chair Professor Barney Glover said Professor Thomas would assist UA to make the case that a strong university sector benefits everyone, especially as her expertise and experience will be of great benefit to UA’s work.

Professor Thomas reiterated that as a Board member of UA she will be promoting the pivotal role universities make in developing the economic and social fabric of Australia and that she was also looking forward to meeting head on some of the challenges facing the higher education sector. “Funding sustainably, stimulating even more excellence and innovation and expanding the impact of publicly-funded research, and reaching a consensus on the higher education needs of students, industry and institutions are just a few of the big ticket items that I want to take up,” she said.

Professor Thomas is looking forward to profiling the efforts USQ was making and how it was becoming a key change maker in its areas of focused research, online teaching and community engagement. “The continued support for universities to help transform the national economy is essential, as is an international perspective that sees Australia’s universities as investigative research hubs and universally acclaimed for their teaching expertise,” Professor Thomas said.

By Emerald Garcia-Finnis
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