ECU opens services institute

EDITH Cowan University has responded to the changing economic climate with the establishment of a new Institute for Services – the first of its kind in Australia.

ECU vice-chancellor Millicent Poole said that the purpose of the Institute was to stimulate, support and promote the extensive body of research already underway in the Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Services.

“The Institute has an important brief – to define the service professions and identify new research activity within those professions,” Professor Poole said.

“The Institute’s strategic role is to place ECU at the leading edge of service sector research.

“A core mission of this university is to work with and for the service industries and professions.

“No organisation can go it alone.

“For industry giants and ambitious start-ups alike, strategic partnerships have become central to competitive success in fast-changing global markets.

“More than ever, many of the skills and resources essential to an organisation’s future prosperity lie outside that organisation’s boundaries and outside direct management control,” Professor Poole said.

“In this new world of networks, coalitions and alliances, strategic partnerships are not an option but a necessity,” she said.

“A key strategy of our Research Plan 2000 is to initiate a culture of collaboration that will facilitate the development of valuable links across the university, and more importantly, across the service sector.

She said ECU was looking at developing partnerships with professions and industry groups within the service sector.

The first symposium of the Institute centred on whether market forces could ensure that the myriad of services needed by the community will be supplied, and whether the private sector always delivered these more efficiently that the public sector.

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