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Yolande Hutchinson
UNSW Sydney External Engagement
0420 845 023

Security & Defence PLuS, a new research and educational collaboration supporting AUKUS, has been launched by UNSW in Australia, King’s College in the UK and Arizona State University (ASU) in the USA.

Aimed at providing independent and original knowledge and understanding of national and global security issues, Security & Defence PLuS serves as a keystone in the PLuS Alliance, an existing academic partnership between UNSW, King’s and ASU, tackling global challenges through research and education.

Security & Defence PLuS was inspired by the AUKUS agreement, a first-of-its-kind partnership announced in September 2021 by the governments of Australia, the UK and the USA to enable deeper integration of security and defence priorities, including through cooperation in science, technology, industry, intelligence, and the military.

Alongside fostering research projects between UNSW, King’s and ASU on security and defence-related issues, the new initiative will also support collaboration on education. This will involve integrating coursework and joint programs, providing custom pathways for students around the globe, and opening new possibilities in professional military and interagency education.

UNSW Director of Security & Defence PLuS, Professor Craig Stockings, said: “This is very much a case of a partnership yielding results greater than the sum of its parts.

“The new collaboration aims to provide a platform for informed and practically focused policy discussion about this vital new partnership between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. We are looking to understand how we can best place our universities to assist in delivering the innovation, industrial, science and technology skills that the AUKUS partnership anticipates.

“Looking ahead, we hope that the Advancing AUKUS conference on 14 November will launch a closer engagement between UNSW in Canberra and Sydney, our Security and Defence PluS partners, and Defence policymakers. We feel there is much we can offer and much we can learn from such an exchange,” Prof. Stockings said.

President and Principal of King’s College London, Professor Shitij Kapur said: “Our three universities are globally renowned for their innovation, expertise, and scholarship across security, defence, and international affairs, and each has a track record of providing insight and expertise to their respective foreign and defence ministries.

“We are excited to combine these strengths and resources, and are proud to launch this initiative, which will enable robust integration of our three world-class defence and security studies programmes, to advance vital research and education on the toughest challenges of our era.”

Ryan Shaw, the ASU Director of Security & Defence PLuS said: “Each of our universities is well-positioned to contribute to the aim of preserving a free and open international order, and we can certainly do more working together than we ever could separately. There are real challenges to that order today, and global challenges demand global solutions.

“The PLuS Alliance was already working on sustainability and public health; international security is an obvious next step, and we’re really excited to partner with our respective governments to see what’s possible at the intersection of policy, practice, and scholarship.”