Peter Karmel (deceased)

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At the 1984 conference Peter Karmel was elected to life membership in recognition of his distinguished contribution to Australian tertiary education. Emeritus Professor P.H. Karmel, AC, CBE, was educated at Caulfield Grammar School, the University of Melbourne, and Trinity College Cambridge. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and the University of Adelaide.

He began his career as a Research Officer with the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics and then taught economics at the universities of Melbourne and Adelaide. In 1966 he became foundation Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University and is currently the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University.

Prior to joining the ANU he served as Chairman of the Australian Universities Commission and the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission from 1971 to 1982, a period, at least in its latter years, of unprecedented financial difficulty for colleges and universities associated with the national economic recession. During this time he also chaired a number of major committees concerned with enquiries into medical education, the Schools Commission, the feasibility of an open university, and post-secondary education in Tasmania.

In addition to his contributions to the demographic and economic literature, Peter Karmel has published extensively on topics within the field of tertiary education. These papers reflect the range of his interests which encompass transition to post-secondary education, the economics of education, the aims of education, qualifications and jobs, university-government relations, youth employment and vocational training. This body of work, and his activities in the fields of teaching, administration, and policy-making, have combined to establish a reputation which is without parallel in contemporary Australia.

Peter Karmel was Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide (I 950-63), Foundation Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University (1963-71), Chair Australian Universities Commission (1971- 77), Foundation Chair, Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission , (1977-82), Vice-Chancellor, The Australian National University, (1983-87). He ha s ch aired a number of import ant policy making committees in education eg Quality of Education Review Committee, 1985, which produced the report 'Quality of Education in Australia .' His current research interest is higher education policy