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Crawford School ANU Public Policy Fellow Professor Bruce Chapman took out top honours for public policy and outreach in the annual ANU Vice-Chancellor’s staff excellence awards for his research to ensure more Australians can afford to complete tertiary studies.
Bruce won the Team Award for Public Policy and Outreach, sharing the prize with Dr Timothy Higgins from the ANU College of Business and Economics.
The award recognises the benefits and influence of contributions made by ANU academics to public policy and debate.
Widely recognised as the architect of Australia’s higher education contribution scheme – which allows students to defer the cost of undertaking tertiary education - Bruce won his joint award for having significant impact on funding in the higher education sector.
His 2014 study with Dr Higgins analysing interest rates for the higher education loan program (HELP) has had vital implications for equity and costings for policymakers. They found that by applying real interest rates to student debts, poor graduates would pay 30 per cent more for their education.
“It was motivated by non-partisan concerns; it lies on the frontiers of social science research; and was explained broadly and clearly to the policy community,” read their citation.
“The exercise is also an example of the extraordinary potential there is at ANU for the highest quality cross-disciplinary research for the betterment of social good.”
Crawford School Director Professor Tom Kompas congratulated the winners and said that the award highlights some of the real impacts made by researchers in Asia and the Pacific’s leading public policy school.
“My sincere congratulations to all of the winners of the ANU Vice-Chancellor’s staff excellence awards, and especially to Bruce,” he said.
“The influence of his research can be seen in the current debate of higher education reforms.
“This award highlights Crawford School’s strong, established links with government and policy development and how our research helps to shape policy responses.”