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The Education Destination : Australia The Education Destination 2012
24 >AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION 2012 AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES >RESEARCH Australia is one of the world’s leading research nations on a per capita basis. While Australia has less than 0.5% of the world’s population, it accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s research output. Every day, over one billion people around the world rely on Australian discoveries to make their lives, and the lives of others, better. WORLD-FIRST RESEARCH Australian universities have a strong research focus. Australia’s scientists have contributed to world-first breakthroughs and technological advances. They are recognised internationally for these contributions. Australians have won 10 Nobel Prizes in the natural and medical sciences and literature. When you undertake research in an Australian university, you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities, local and international links, and innovative approaches. Universities have specialist faculty and research centres on campus. Many of these centres work with other universities and research organisations. There are also Key Centres of Teaching and Research, Special Research Centres, and Centres of Excellence in universities that are funded by the Australian Research Council. These centres are prestigious hubs of expertise through which high- quality researchers maintain and develop Australia’s international standing in research areas of national priority. Australia remains at the forefront in research in such areas as biotechnology, solar power, drug design and astrophysics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. UNIQUE RESEARCH– INDUSTRY PROGRAM The Australian Government invests in university research in many ways, including the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program. This program links researchers with industry to create partnerships for the practical use of the research and its commercialisation. It is a unique program, recognised worldwide for its cutting-edge approach and commercial success. The CRC partnerships involve a number of organisations including universities, industry scientists, business and government organisations. The close interaction between the researchers and the users of the research is a key feature of the program. Through the CRC program, university researchers become industry- ready graduates. Currently, there are 42 CRCs, and an additional $100 million in funding was recently provided to four centres. This included funding two new centres which will help improve the health outcomes of young Australians through new online technologies, and tackle neurological diseases to address the health burden of an ageing population. The CRC program has led to successful research–industry collaboration in a wide range of fields, including recent developments in the areas of: cochlear implants for the hearing-impaired; aerospace composite technologies; surveillance technologies in the global securities markets; biodegradable ‘bioplastic’ sheets; aluminium production; staff fatigue in mining sites; dental repair products; liquid petroleum gas (LPG) conversion technology for heavy trucks; vaccine delivery systems for pigs; urban stormwater modeling; and ocean currents in the Antarctic and climate change. ASTRONOMER WINS 2011 NOBEL PRIZE Professor Brian Schmidt from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University (ANU) has won the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics. The award is for the discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The award is shared with two US scientists – Professor Adam Riess from Johns Hopkins University and Professor Saul Perlmutter from the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Schmidt’s breakthrough was made while he led the High-Z SN Search Team, which included Dr Riess. ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young said this research had changed the face of astronomy. ‘Professor Schmidt’s work has helped to unveil a universe that, to a large extent, was unknown to science,’ he said. ‘He has shown that what we see in the skies is but a tiny fraction of what is really out there. ANU congratulates a great man and celebrates his magnificent achievement.’ Strong research focus Australia’s scientists have contributed to world-first breakthroughs and technological advances. Australian universities have a strong research focus and work with industry and other international universities and research organisations.
Australia The Education Destination 2011
Australia The Education Destination 2013