National Security

Uni deal a 'risk' to national security

June 24, 2024

Monday 24 June 2024
Ellidh Sproul-Mellis
Daily Telegraph

 Security experts and the federal Opposition have lashed the University of  Sydney putting critical strategic defence research at risk, by  "capitulating" to a fringe protest group with links to extremism.
 A deal between the university and its Muslim students' association will see  defence and security-related research "activities" with some  exceptions disclosed publicly on the university website.
 The university will also establish a "working group" to review its  policy on financial investments in the defence sector, with the Sydney  University Muslim Students' Association given a role in nominating group  members.
 It comes despite concerns the SUMSA protest camp had been infiltrated by  members of Hizb ut-Tahrir - an extreme Islamist group designated a terrorist  organisation by the UK.
 Opposition Home Affairs spokesman James Paterson said the deal was a  "pathetic capitulation", "grossly irresponsible" and  "raises very real questions about whether the university can be relied  on . to conduct sensitive national security and defence research funded by  taxpayers".
 Security experts also warned the deal will spook not only the Australian  defence industry but overseas partners.
 Strategic Analysis Australia director Peter Jennings said Vice Chancellor  Mark Scott has put at risk millions of dollars in defence-related research to  "be woke".
 A university spokeswoman said the agreement does not include a review of  research partnerships, only disclosure, and that neither police nor  intelligence agencies had raised concerns about "external  influences".

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