Australia’s national security college eyes partnership with new UK college

By Jackson Graham

March 1, 2022

National Security College head Rory Medcalf
National Security College head Rory Medcalf. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Australia’s brightest minds in national security are set to benefit from a new partnership between old friends, as the UK establishes a college based on ANU’s National Security College. 

Discussions about how the two colleges can share resources are already underway, according to the head of Australia’s National Security College professor Rory Medcalf. 

ANU’s college is a joint initiative between the Australian government and the university. 

The UK college, coined the College for National Security, has only recently been announced by UK prime minister Boris Johnson.   

Medcalf said the partnership would expand the security expertise and capability of Australia and the UK while “facing up to shared risks”. 

“We’ll work closely with them to map a partnership spanning shared curricula, staff exchanges and priority research,” he said. 

The UK’s college has been under consideration since at least 2020 when an Integrated Review proposed it could be part of the government’s Curriculum and Campus for Government Skills

A UK parliamentary inquiry found last year that “a cross-government national security profession” could bring “a recognisable community of civil servants with a shared sense of mission, doctrine and knowledge base”. 

ANU vice-chancellor professor Brian Schmidt said the National Security College helped deliver on a mission to serve Australians. 

“ANU was established to help secure Australia and our region and meet the challenges we faced after the Second World War,” Schmidt said. 

“And now the college is having a truly global impact — inspiring the CfNS in the UK, which will not only bring our two nations closer together but help ensure we can all work together to build a more secure world.”


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