Universities Australia welcomed the publication of revised guidelines designed to secure universities from foreign interference and maintain the openness that is essential to a robust university and research system.

Developed by the Universities Foreign Interference Taskforce (UFIT), a partnership between Australian universities and Government, the revised guidelines are set to strengthen cybersecurity protections, advise on assessing and mitigating risks of foreign interference and support staff and students on campus.

Universities Australia Chair Professor John Dewar AO said the sector has worked in close partnership with Government to update the guidelines.

“The guidelines are an important step forward in effectively countering foreign interference on our campuses, and balancing that work with the essential openness of any strong research system,” Professor Dewar said.

“Importantly, the guidelines are proportionate and carefully tailored to universities with varying exposure and risk levels.”

“Now the guidelines are finalised, the sector will work on implementing the refreshed advice. We will continue to adapt and update our approach as well as share good practice across all university campuses.”

“Our universities will continue to lead the way in ensuring that Australia is collaborating with world leading researchers and institutions, as we strive for the big breakthroughs whilst managing and mitigating risks.”

The revised guidelines build on those released in November 2019 with more detailed guidance to the sector, as well as information on the Federal Government’s contribution to countering foreign interference.