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Education & Research

We understand that the commercial and regulatory environment is complex and “red tape” is difficult to unravel

Australian education institutions continue to progress and be regarded as some of the best in the world.

The Education industry has undergone significant review and reform over recent years and is an increasingly competitive market.

Figures released by the ABS show South Australia’s international education sector was valued at $1.92 billion in 2018/19, just ahead of wine at $1.91 billion, making it the State’s number one export.

Demand-driven funding, intensified regulatory scrutiny, intellectual property risk and rapid technological advances continue to provide both challenges and opportunities for education and research delivery.

How can we help you?

We have a dedicated team to assist your institutions to understand, comply and flourish in a demanding legal environment.

Our multi-disciplinary team are able to assist you in various matters from high-level strategic issues surrounding the management of critical incidents and regulatory oversight through to procurement and other contractual arrangements for your day-to-day operations.

We regularly advise across a range of research fields (including agriculture, defence, environment and climate change, health, medical sciences and space).

In addition to our legal advice, Finlaysons’ practitioners are active in the sector holding various board and committee positions, lecturing and delivering keynotes speeches as well as having a long history of community programs and sponsorship initiatives.

Recent Experience

  • Advising tertiary education providers on the preparation of privacy policies in compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles, the reporting of eligible data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
  • Advising tertiary education providers on their obligations under the Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth). 
  • Advising on the establishment of a health science and research centre in South Australia.
  • Advising a major Australian university on the preparation of a suite of commercial templates, including service agreements, workplace placement agreements, collaboration agreements, course development and delivery agreements, offshore program agreements and student exchange agreements. Our work involved drafting the commercial templates, together with the preparation of user guidance notes and where appropriate, alternative clauses on key contractual issues such as limitation of liability, indemnities, ownership of intellectual property and warranties.
  • Advising a Commonwealth funded co-operative research centre on all of its intellectual property licensing arrangements. This included the drafting and negotiation of background intellectual property licence agreements, commercialisation licence agreements and royalty agreements which were required to commercialise various mining equipment technologies, throughout the life of the co-operative research centre. It also involved reviewing and advising upon internal processes such as the requirements for intellectual property commercialisation plans and the transfer of various intellectual property rights upon the deregistration of the co-operative research centre.
  • Acting for a major Australian university in reviewing and amending its suite of intellectual property templates, which were used throughout the university (including its commercialisation entity). The review required the preparation of contractual provisions dealing with the ownership of intellectual property developed during research projects, the calculation of individual ownership shares and the distribution of commercialisation income arising from research activities.
  • Advising a participant in the SmartSat Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) on the proposed Participants Agreement, Project Agreement and Constitution.
  • Advising a participant in the Race for 2030 CRC on the proposedConstitution and Core Partners Agreement;
  • Secondments to various Australian universities, including their commercialisation and research entities.
  • Advising an Australian university on the Defence Science Program suite of documents with the Commonwealth Department of Defence.
  • Advising a registered training organisation on its copyright materials and terms and conditions of use for its online educational materials.

Related Sectors & Services

Key Services

  • Drafting and negotiating amendments to participants agreements, Commonwealth and State government funding agreements
  • Acting in disputes regarding the control and treatment of research funding
  • Advising on Auditor-General investigations regarding the expenditure of public funds
  • Advising on secondment arrangements for employees and students of tertiary education providers
  • Drafting employment contracts in a wide range of industry sectors
  • Drafting and negotiating IP licences and commercialisation agreements
  • Negotiating and drafting major design and construction contracts for school infrastructure projects
  • Due diligence and advising on property acquisitions, disposals, divisions and approval processes (including in respect of early childhood learning centres)
  • Advising on taxation requirements (including CGT, GST and income tax) for education providers as not-for-profit entities
  • Advising companies limited by guarantee, such as co-operative research centres, on eligibility for various payroll and Commonwealth tax concessions (including DGR and tax exempt status)