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A Message From the Security and Defence PLuS Presidents

Six years ago, Arizona State University, King’s College London and the University of New South Wales Sydney came together to establish the PLuS Alliance. By providing a platform for experimentation through a truly global and embedded partnership, our three premier universities on three continents committed to scaling innovations in research and education for maximum public benefit.

To date, the PLuS Alliance has broken new ground in engineering, public health, and sustainability, advancing research from a truly global perspective, always animated by our core conviction that access to education is the key to unlocking human potential. Now, with recent geopolitical developments—from the war in Ukraine to rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific—we are compelled to find new ways to make a difference in statecraft and security.

We are well positioned to do so. Each of our universities has deep and enduring ties to our defence and foreign ministries, substantial expertise in all relevant disciplines, and a proven track record at the nexus of policy, practice, and scholarship.

The hyper-connected global system emerging today presents unprecedented opportunities to alleviate poverty, eradicate disease, and expand human freedom. But these same factors can also enable the rapid spread of new diseases, the accelerated degradation of ecosystems, mass surveillance and repression, and increased risk of wars that would be incomprehensibly destructive. We believe universities can play a vital role—even a decisive role—in ensuring we pursue the former path, not the latter.

We are excited to combine these resources and proud to announce the launch of Security & Defence PLuS, a long-term, robust integration of our three world-class defence and security studies programs.

Over the next few years, we will integrate coursework, collaborate on joint programs, provide custom pathways for students around the globe, open new possibilities in professional military and interagency education, and advance vital research on the toughest challenges of our era. There is no limit to what we might achieve, and the obvious place to start is by Advancing AUKUS.

Last September, our three governments announced the trilateral security partnership known as AUKUS, with the objective to “deepen diplomatic, security, and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.” Its first initiatives focused on strengthening and sharing advanced defence capabilities. Security & Defence PLuS aims to be the intellectual engine behind AUKUS, partnering with our three governments to support this vital partnership through collaborative, policy-relevant research; innovative educational offerings; and timely convening functions, all drawing on our unique combination of multinational expertise, academic freedom, and commitment to public value.

We invite you to explore the website and learn more about Security & Defence PLuS. We welcome your feedback and your ideas on how we can do more—and better. The challenges are immense, but so are our resources. The world today is rife with dangers, but also with possibilities. Together, we can help ensure a safe, secure, sustainable, and just future for us all.

Attila Brungs
Vice-Chancellor and President, University of New South Wales Sydney

Michael Crow
President, Arizona State University

Shitij Kapur
President, King’s College London

 


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