Australian universities have been invited to bid for Australian War College (AWC) academic services, a prestigious contract to deliver courses for the next generation of strategic leaders.
Australia’s version of the US National War College, commander of the Australian Defence College (ADC) MAJGEN Mick Ryan says the AWC is just as good, and maybe better.
Right now the two headline courses, the Australian Command and Staff Course (ACSC) for mid-level leaders and the Defence and Strategic Studies Course (DSSC) for senior leaders are delivered by the Australian National University (ANU) and Deakin University, respectively. But both contracts are due to conclude at the end of next year, and the ADC has a preference for both courses to be delivered by the same provider in a five year contract, with options for extension.
“We want to take as much time as we can to think about what we want out of the next contract to ensure there is sufficient time for Australian universities to respond and for us to assess,” said MAJGEN Ryan following a briefing attended in person or online by representatives of more than 20 Australian universities.
“What we want to do is have a single provider to get better value for money for the taxpayers,” he added. “We want to be the military college that everyone else tries to catch, not vice versa.”
The Canberra-based AWC operates as one of the three components of the ADC, the others being ADFA, and the ADF Training Centre, which runs specialist bodies such as the Peace Operation Training Centre and ADF Languages School.
MAJGEN Ryan said the ADC was the equivalent of both the US War College and Britain’s Sandhurst. “We’d like to think we are as good if not better,” he said.
Where once advanced military education went only to ADF personnel in single service colleges, it’s now focused on joint operations and available to Australian defence and other public servants and members of foreign defence forces. The AWC is a relative newcomer, formed last year by the amalgamation of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS) and the Australian Command and Staff College (ACSC).
AWC commandant CDRE Richard Boulton told the briefing the College was responsible for the delivery of core joint professional military education. “This joint professional military education contributes to the development of the Australian Defence Force’s mastery in the profession of arms and delivers and intellectual edge in our joint warfighting,” he said. “Never before has there been a greater need to ensure our future military and public servant leaders are prepared for the challenges they will face n their future careers.”
Tenders close in three months. No contract value has yet been released.