Sunday, 3 February 2008

Twenty twenties

Much is being made of Rudd's 2020 Summit, probably rightly so. It is an interesting idea in itself. 

The idea that all participants will pay for their own travel and accommodation is also interesting and one wonders if it is as much a mechanism for screening out undesirable experts as it is a cost saving measure.

Just before the election, I posted what was basically a summary of the report to the PMSEIC on Asia.

I've been a bit worried that that report might have gotten lost with the former Prime Minister. Equally, re-skimming my post made me so glad that the election also rid Higher Education of its own version of Dolores Umbridge.

But the issues raised in that report are very clearly feeding issue # 1 on Rudd's 2020 hit list, so I'm relieved the report wasn't lost.

However, issue # 1 (education, skills, training, innovation and productivity) feeds from the rhetoric of that report, but makes the issues  broader: itnow  becomes about making the most of proximity as well as being competitive and about education from early childhood to university teaching with a big emphasis on tech training. This is probably fair, as early childhood and TAFE were the most-neglected of Howard's neglected children but it still bodes luke-warm for those of us hoping for a funding boost to higher ed. 

This is especially the case since, while 'innovation' is in the title, the text includes no mention of research, nor does its rhetoric refer to the importance of research to global  (or even regional) competitiveness.

We'll see.

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