Read and sign A Charter for Australia’s Public Universities

    We all have an email signature stating our affiliation with our institution. Add your alliance to NAPU in your email signature block! Our two suggested options (feel free to edit):
    – “Stand with me for public democratic universities: sign the NAPU charter”
    – “Signatory to the Charter of the National Alliance for Public Universities”

About the Charter
Since the Abbott government proposed the deregulation of university fees and the extension of Commonwealth support to private providers in its budget in May 2014, public debate has almost entirely excluded the views of regular university staff, many of whom oppose fee deregulation of any kind. We have united to form the National Alliance for Public Universities to give voice to the researchers, teachers, administrators and other staff whose perspective has been overlooked.

Together we have set out A Charter for Australia’s Public Universities. This does not only oppose deregulation but articulates an alternative vision of the role and purpose of public universities. We call on university staff across Australia to read and sign our charter to show those in Federal Parliament and university senior management that we have an altogether different understanding of what public universities are and who they serve. Where the government’s proposal falsely represents university education solely as a private good, we seek to restore public awareness of the public good that universities serve.


  1. Universities provide both public and private benefits. To fulfil these, they must function independently of market forces and political interference.
  2. The educational opportunities that universities provide are a basic right. Ongoing public financial support is required to ensure that these are sustained across generations.
  3. Universities are diverse intellectual communities centred on practices of critical scholarship and teaching, in which teachers and students collaborate in a common inquiry. This also creates a suitable environment for the development of the knowledge and practices necessary for a number of vocations and professions.
  4. Universities comprise diverse yet interdependent collegial communities whose collective health is dependent on the health of each respectively. Accordingly, they should be organised, managed and funded in line with the internal imperatives of those communities, with due flexibility to allow new ideas, research fields and practices to emerge.
  5. Good scholarship emerges from critical collegiality within an overall framework of collaboration, with standards established and negotiated amongst peers locally and internationally.
  6. Universities serve their local and regional communities, where different needs and cultures obtain, while also taking their place in national and international networks.
  7. Universities are spaces for public scholarship, rational debate and dissension, and play an indispensable role in nurturing a wider democratic and humane culture.
  8. Universities have a social mission, enabling social mobility while striving to dissolve entrenched social inequalities altogether.

The full Charter outlines in detail each of these principles.

Sign the Charter for Australia’s Public Universities*

*PLEASE NOTE: Signatories to the National Alliance for Public Universities need to be a staff member at an Australian university or have an academic affiliation with a university.
If you are not a member of staff or affiliate of an Australian University, please click here to submit your expression of support.

To sign the Charter, fill in your details below.


6 thoughts on “Charter

  1. Pingback: 31 October 2014: Higher Education - Sydney Review of BooksSydney Review of Books
  2. Given its small population Australia punches above its weight on the world stage. It can do that because its current education system allows it to harness the brainpower of all its citizens, not just the ones with money. Clarity of vision is not always associated with privileged social status, as Tony Abbott demonstrates every day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: CASA weekly news 34/14 | CASA
  4. Pingback: Wake up academia: time is running out to voice your objections to Abbott’s “reforms” | EduResearch Matters

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