The Guidelines to counter foreign interference in the Australian university sector (the guidelines) protect the university sector against foreign interference. They guide decision making based on potential risks and support an environment of trust. The guidelines help Australian universities continue to produce world-class research.

The University Foreign Interference Taskforce

In August 2019, the Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan MP, announced the establishment of a University Foreign Interference Taskforce.

The taskforce brought together universities and Australian government agencies to develop a set of best practice guidelines.

Guidelines to counter foreign interference

The Guidelines to counter foreign interference were developed jointly through a steering group and four working groups:

  • Research and Intellectual Property
  • Foreign Collaboration
  • Cyber Security
  • Communication and Culture

The sector has been a key contributor to the guidelines. The process has been collaborative with about 40 members from across government and the sector involved, representing:

  • 13 universities
  • 10 Australian Government agencies

This means the guidelines are applicable, scalable and implementable for all universities.

Guiding Principles

As well as the 4 areas of focus of the working groups, some overarching principles informed the development of the guidelines:

  • Security must safeguard academic freedom, values and research collaboration
  • Research, collaboration and education activities must be mindful of national interest
  • Security is a collective responsibility with individual accountability
  • Security should be proportionate to organisational risk
  • The safety of our university community is paramount

Read the guidelines.