A disrupted future for universities

A National Oration with Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS

Event details

Wednesday 13 September 2023

12:30pm – 1:30pm AEST


Online via Zoom


> Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS, Australian National University


Presented by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering’s ACT Division

A National Oration with Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS

Vice-Chancellor & President Australian National University (ANU)

The business model of universities to simultaneously undertake education, training, and research is coming under intense pressure from multiple directions.

One of Australia’s most eminent scientists and Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Brian P. Schmidt will describe the evolution of higher education around the world.

The oration will focus on emerging trends, threats and opportunities, including the digital revolution, as society looks to increase university-level education from a few percent of the population just after World War II, to the majority in the coming decades.


Professor Brian P. Schmidt AC FAA FRS

Vice-Chancellor & President, Australian National University (ANU)

Professor Brian P. Schmidt was appointed the 12th Vice-Chancellor of ANU in January 2016.

Professor Schmidt is one of Australia’s most eminent scientists. Winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, alongside many other academic awards and distinctions,  Professor Schmidt spent most of his academic career as an astrophysicist at the ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory and Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics before becoming Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Schmidt makes a significant contribution to public debate through the media, and via his membership of bodies including the Prime Minister’s National Science and Technology Council.

Professor Schmidt received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona in 1989, and completed his Astronomy Master’s degree (1992) and PhD (1993) at Harvard University. Under his leadership, in 1998, the High-Z Supernova Search team made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating. Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, The United States Academy of Science, and the Royal Society, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.


Jo Daly
Dr Joanne Daly PSM FTSE

Joanne Daly is a former Group Executive of Agribusiness and Chief of Division. Her activities focus on strategy for national research collections and in agricultural sciences, assisting with the developing science precinct in Canberra with the ANU in the area of transformational agriculture. She had worked in CSIRO for over 30 years originally as a researcher in entomology.

She chaired the ‘Expert Working Group on Security Australia’s Agricultural Future’ for the Australian Council of Learned Academies. She was an ACIAR Commissioner and has held a number of senior roles including Chair of the international body, GBIF, and was a member of the Biosecurity Advisory Council and the Australian e-Research Infrastructure Council. During her 2-year secondment to the Australian Public Service, she headed the Secretariat that assisted Government in setting the National Research Priorities in 2002.

She was awarded the 2022 ATSE President’s Medal in recognition of her extraordinary commitment and exceptional contribution to the Academy. Dr Daly has served as Chair of ATSE’s Assembly and Chair of the ACT Division. As a member of the Agriculture and Food Forum, she has contributed to major policy reports on climate change and agricultural futures. Dr Daly is a champion for change in ATSE’s governance and membership strategies, and her contributions have shaped ATSE for the better.