UNE recognised for its far-reaching research impact in communities

Published 01 April 2019

The significant impact and reach of research by the University of New England (UNE) has been recognised in a national assessment of Engagement and Impact Assessment, released on Friday.

For the first time, the Australian Research Council (ARC) has led an evaluation of the impact and engagement of research by Australian Universities. This new initiative examines the social, economic, environmental and cultural benefits of university-based research.

UNE achieved the highest rating in research impact across a number of key disciplines, including:

  • Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences – for advanced livestock breeding technologies developed to support agricultural industries increase the profitability of farming operations in Australia and internationally.
  • Economics – for an innovative technology based on consumer preferences for meat eating quality, and its wide adoption by red meat retail operations in Australia and internationally, resulting in improved consumer choices and increases in the profitability of retail operations.
  • Education – for the QuickSmart program that addresses the needs of middle school students with poor basic literacy and numeracy, resulting in significant increases in skills acquisition in student participants.
  • Studies in Human Society – for supporting law enforcement efforts to help fight rural crime, resulting in a reduction of the multi-million dollar cost impacting on-farm productivity in rural communities.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annabelle Duncan says the results reflect UNE’s commitment to producing research that contributes to society, the environment, health, economy and quality of life for regional communities and beyond.

“Impact and engagement is a vital measure of the importance of the research we are producing at UNE,” Prof Duncan said.

“These results reflect UNE’s longstanding tradition of partnering with our stakeholders and industry groups to support community priorities. Some of these research programs are the result of decade-long collaborations.”

“The Engagement and Impact Assessment National Report, confirms just how successful these partnerships have been in terms of supporting rural and regional Australia, in areas such as improving mental health and wellbeing in our communities, boosting students’ numeracy and literacy skills, effective environmental management to protect biodiversity, fighting rural crime and in raising agricultural productivity and profitability,” she said.

These results come in the wake of UNE’s recent recognition for the quality of its research by Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 National Report. UNE achieved the highest rating of 5 (well above world standard) in 18 disciplines, including across Health Sciences, Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Agriculture, and Mathematics.