Speeches & Opinion

UNSW-Defence 50th anniversary lunch, Canberra 18 July 2017: Sir Rupert Myers Speech.Read more

Delivering the keynote speech, Professor Jacobs told the audience that the world had become preoccupied with keeping people out and creating more walls and barriers than ever before.Read more

Responding to the Australian Government’s announcement of planned cuts to university funding, Professor Jacobs argues the proposals are not are not in the long-term interests of Australia or its economy.  

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In this interview with Times Higher Education, Professor Jacobs foresees a world where some universities could welcome as many as one-million students to their campus in a typical year, with hundreds of thousands of older learners taking courses lasting just one or two weeks.Read more

In this opinion piece, the President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Sydney, Professor Ian Jacobs, argues that basic research funding must be a national priority if Australia is to generate competitive new industries and create a sustainable, job-generating economy.Read more

With higher education demand booming worldwide, particularly in rapidly developing nations such as China and India, will universities be able to satisfy demand? One solution is the vastly expanded use of digital technology in teaching and learning, on a global scale. But if Australia is to become a serious future player in this expanding field, argues UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs, it needs to develop new systems and global partnerships, and move quickly.Read more

Welcoming to UNSW the Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and known globally as the father of both social business and microcredit, Professor Jacobs paid tribute to a man he described as ‘a champion of the poor, but equally of the young, whose aspirations must not be dampened if humanity is to progress’.Read more

Launching the UNSW Grand Challenge on Inequality, Professor Jacobs noted that the many forms of inequality - economic, social, cultural, gender and sexuality, and inequalities based on race, nationality, religion, and disability – were not by any means confined to poor nations, or those without the means to make a difference, that inequality was an insidious virus that undercut nearly all societies, and existed within nations, and between nations.Read more

Welcoming guests to the 2017 annual Chinese New Year event, Professor Jacobs highlighted UNSW’s long association with China, the landmarks of 2016 with the signing of the Torch UNSW research partnership, and the success of the Sino-Australian research and education ‘pipeline’ foreshadowing greater UNSW collaborations with China.Read more

In addressing the question ‘What keeps me up at night?’, Professor Jacobs said he was driven by the belief that universities had a critical role to play in resolving global problems, and were central to the future of humanity. To fulfil that role, universities must act as servants of society locally and globally, not as ivory towers - an overarching ethos that should inform all their decisions and drive their activities.Read more

In his address at the Nehru Library in New Delhi, Professor Jacobs spoke of the partnership between India and Australia arising from shared values and aspirations, and launched the UNSW Diya Initiative to provide degree education at UNSW to thousands of Indian students in the coming decade.Read more

Welcoming attendees to the annual UNSW Town and Gown event in 2016, Professor Jacobs spoke the need for universities to be servants of society, and detailed his views on generosity in partnerships as exemplified by UNSW’s links with other organisations.Read more

Addressing the annual United Nations Day luncheon at the NSW Parliament, Professor Jacobs reflected on the role of universities in making the world ‘a better place’ for all, and spoke of the refugee crisis as ‘the great moral conflict of our times’ with profound impacts on the fabric of established and well-developed societies.Read more

In his vote of thanks to American neuroscientist and psychiatrist Dr. Tom Insel, who delivered the Wallace Wurth lecture, Professor Jacobs noted that Dr. Insel, head of America’s National Institute of Mental Health from 2002 to 2015, had advanced considerably the nexus between technology and mental health, and within that the possibilities of more individualised care.Read more

Opening the ‘Troubled Waters’ suite of three exhibitions at UNSW Art and Design Faculty, Professor Jacobs said the art represented the great challenges facing the planet moving deeper into the 21st century, as well as an inter-disciplinary approach to creativity forged by UNSW Art & Design that exemplified what universities should be about.Read more

To grasp the research opportunities linked to China's big innovation push, Australia’s universities need to be equally innovative and forward-thinking, writes UNSW Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs.Read more

At a gala dinner held to celebrate the UNSW-Torch China innovation partnership, Professor Jacobs described how the initiative came about, its long-term value to the Australian economy, and how true innovation grows through teamwork in vibrant collaborations.Read more

Launching the first-ever TEDx UNSW event, Professor Jacobs talked of the evolution of universities as seats of learning and related his own experiences as the first person in his family to attend university, leading to his work as both a cancer researcher and social entrepreneur.Read more

In this address, Professor Jacobs, a regular visitor to Uganda, spoke of the remarkable progress made by Gulu University since it began teaching in 2002, and outlined increased cooperation in the form of development programmes with UNSW Sydney, visiting research fellowships and other initiatives to create a richer learning environment in Northern Uganda.Read more

Following the conferral of an Honorary Doctorate on Stan Grant, Professor Jacobs paid tribute to Dr. Grant’s eloquent and passionate defense of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, and spoke of UNSW’s work in advancing social values and social leadership in championing the rights of the First Peoples of the nation.Read more