The inquiry was referred on 28 October 2020 by the Home Affairs Minister to report back to both Houses of Parliament on the following matters:
National security risks affecting the Australian higher education and research sector (the Sector), having regard to all institutions within the sector, including those engaged in: tertiary teaching; research; the commercialisation of research with origins in the sector; grants and funding decisions in relation to the above activities; tertiary education-related representative bodies, coordination bodies or institutional groupings; and regulation of the above activities.
The prevalence, characteristics and significance of foreign interference, undisclosed foreign influence, data theft and espionage, and associated risks to Australia’s national security.
The Sector’s awareness of foreign interference, undisclosed foreign influence, data theft and espionage, and its capacity to identify and respond to those threats.
The adequacy and effectiveness of Australian Government policies and programs in identifying and responding to foreign interference, undisclosed foreign influence, data theft and espionage in the Sector.
Responses to this issue in other countries and their relevance to the Australian situation.
Any other related matter.