Foreign engagements

UOW is a truly global university. Our international focus is strengthened through a collaborative network of partners across the globe. We value our collaborations with foreign partners and recognise the significance of relationships between individuals in Australia and overseas.

In the day-to-day pursuit of University objectives, there are some integrity/accountability obligations that may be more difficult to recognise and require additional vigilance by individuals to ensure compliance. Being aware of these obligations will help you identify and manage the risks and avoid adverse consequences. 

The Australian government has in place a number of legislative instruments designed to ensure engagements and interactions with foreign entities or individuals do not adversely affect Australia's foreign relations and are consistent with Australia's foreign policy. 

It is important to note that the vast majority of foreign engagements are not considered as notifiable or reportable to the Australian government and are out of scope for the various Schemes. Staff should also note that notification or reporting of Foreign Engagements to the Australian government will be completed as matter of legislative compliance. This does not necessarily mean that engagements will be terminated or rejected by the government.     

Foreign engagements quick guide

Please note: this resource is intended as a guide and should be read in conjunction with Australian government information. 

  Foreign Arrangements Scheme Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Foreign Interference Guidelines
Concerning Public disclosure of activities Risk reduction


To ensure international activities...

Don’t adversely affect Australia’s foreign relations and are consistent with our foreign policy That aim to influence Australian political and government decision makers are open and transparent are free from foreign interference
Procedure Notification Registration Risk management
Impact on the University 

UOW must notify the Government of international arrangements with foreign governments and their entities

Arrangements in scope are recorded on a public register

Individuals/units must register with the Government if they are carrying out activities and
communications on behalf of a foreign principal (ie a government entity or political organisation).

Details are recorded on a public register

University must ensure its practices (especially in governance, due diligence, communication, knowledge sharing and cyber security) are in line with Guidelines from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
What staff need to do

Be aware of which arrangements need to be notified;

Inform Global Strategy Division of relevant arrangements (notification is done by the University, not by individuals).

Register under the scheme if they are conducting activities in Australia on behalf of a foreign principal. These activities include:

  • parliamentary lobbying
  • general political lobbying
  • communications activities
  • disbursement activity (payment of money or things of value).
Decision-makers should be aware of the Guidelines and their advice on addressing key themes and objectives.
Liability University Individuals and University Individuals
Who to speak to for advice Global Strategy Division:
University resources Foreign Engagements
Legislation Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020 Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector 
Lead Government department and detailed information

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Arrangement Scheme


Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme

Department of Education

University Foreign Interference Taskforce

Foreign engagements

The below links provide an overview of each scheme including FAQs, links to Government resources and fact sheets as well as who to contact for more information.

The contents of this website will continue to be updated as refined information is received from the Australian Government.

Ensures written arrangements between State/Territory entities and foreign governments and their entities do not adversely affect Australia's foreign relations and are consistent with Australia's foreign policy.

Please note: As the Schemes progress, the contents of this website will continue to be updated as refined information is received from the Australian Government.

Foreign Arrangements Scheme

Applies to Australian or foreign individuals and entities who undertake registrable activities on behalf of a foreign principal.

Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme

The Australian Government and the higher education sector jointly formed the University Foreign Interference Taskforce (UFIT). In November 2019, the taskforce released Guidelines to Counter Foreign Interference in the Australian University Sector to enhance safeguards against the risk of foreign interference. A revised version of the Guidelines was released in November 2021.

The revised Guidelines place an obligation on universities to require disclosures from staff who are at risk of foreign interference.


Applies to anyone exporting regulated defence goods/technologies from Australia or transferring information from Australia. 

Defence Export Controls 

International Collaborations at UOW