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.
Foreign interference goes beyond the routine diplomatic influence that is commonly practised by governments. 'Foreign interference' includes covert, deceptive and coercive activities intended to affect an Australian political or governmental process that are directed, subsidised or undertaken by (or on behalf of) foreign actors to advance their interests or objectives.
Foreign Engagements Declaration
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.
UOW recognises the importance of effectively identifying and addressing foreign interference risks. As such, the Foreign Engagements Declaration will ask staff members for the following disclosures:
- Are you receiving any financial support (cash or in-kind) for education or research related activities from a country other than Australia?
- Do you hold a position (paid or unpaid) or honorific titles in any foreign university, academic organisation or company, or are you under any other obligations to a foreign university, academic organisation or company (e.g. membership of a talent recruitment program)?
- Are you associated or affiliated with a foreign government or foreign military, policing or intelligence organisation?