Lessons Learned: How Higher Education Can Drive the Economy

Lessons Learned: How Higher Education Can Drive the Economy

As Australia’s second largest services export, higher education is widely recognised by government and business as a critical driver of economic growth and prosperity. In contrast, whilst British universities have long enjoyed strong international reputations for research and teaching excellence, the importance of higher education to economic development is only just emerging in the national conversation.

With experience in some of Australia and the UK’s top universities, join our panel of experts for an in-depth discussion of the strengths and opportunities for growth in this critical sector.

Speakers include:
• Professor John Dewar, Vice Chancellor & President, La Trobe University
• Professor Ed Byrne AC, President & Principal, King’s College London
• Zac Ashkanasy, Principal, Nous Group


More speakers to be announced!


Professor John Dewar, Vice Chancellor and President,
La Trobe University

Professor John Dewar was educated at Oxford University in the UK and has lived in Australia for the last 16 years. During this time Professor Dewar has had extensive experience in the higher education sector and held senior positions at both Griffith University and The University of Melbourne before taking up the position of Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University in January 2012.

Professor Dewar is an internationally known family law specialist and taught at the Universities of Lancaster and Warwick from 1981 to 1988, and worked for the London law firm Allen & Overy from 1988-1990. He was appointed Fellow and Tutor in Law of Hertford College Oxford in 1990, a position he held until 1995 while acting as consultant to London law firm Farrer & Co.

In 1995, he moved to Griffith University in Australia where he was successively Dean and Head of School of the Griffith Law School (1999-2002), Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law) (2003-2005) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) from 2005 until joining the University of Melbourne in April 2009 where he was Provost until December 2011.


Professor Ed Byrne AC, President & Principal, King’s College London

Professor Ed Byrne became President & Principal at King’s College London on 1st August 2014. He was a Founding Director of the Melbourne Neuromuscular Research Unit and the Centre for Neuroscience in 1993. He was also made Professor of Experimental Neurology at the University of Melbourne in 2001. His major research contributions have been in the field of mitochondrial medicine and neuromuscular disorders.

Professor Byrne was then appointed the Vice Provost (Health) at University College London (UCL). He held that position until becoming the eighth University President and Vice-Chancellor at Monash University in 2009.
The University of Melbourne awarded him a Doctor of Science, a higher degree conferred in recognition of a demonstrated record of research excellence.

Professor Byrne was admitted as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 and a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia’s highest honour, in 2014.


Zac Ashkanasy, Principal, Nous Group

Zac Ashkanasy is an award-winning Principal with Nous Group. Zac brings almost 25 years’ business, consulting and facilitation experience across a range of clients in the UK, Canada, South-East Asia and Australia. He has extensive experience working with higher education institutions.

Zac’s work combines a keen strategic brain, extensive experience in strategy and design, knowledge about the effective interaction of people and information, and effective leadership skills. Executives and staff value his innovative and practical mind-set, and engaging nature. Zac has an MBA from Melbourne Business School (Dean’s Commendation) and a Bachelor of Commerce, University of Queensland


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