BCom (Melbourne), MSc (Econ), PhD (London)


Emeritus Professor Ross Williams is an honorary Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne. He has a PhD in econometrics from the London School of Economics and was foundation professor of econometrics at the University of Melbourne. His current interests are evaluating systems of higher education (and more generally the economics of education), and the history of the development of economics/econometrics in Australia. In a neat division of time, he spent nine years as dean of the (then) Faculty of Economics and Commerce at the University of Melbourne, followed by nine years as a Member of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, and for nine years ending in 2020 he produced for Universitas 21 an annual ranking and evaluation of national systems of higher education, covering 50 countries. He is the Managing Editor of the Australian Economic Review.  

Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne, 2003 –

President, Queen’s College Council, University of Melbourne, 2012-18

Member of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, 2002-2011

Dean, Faculty of Economics and Commerce, University of Melbourne, 1994-2002

Professor of Econometrics, University of Melbourne, 1975-2002

Chair, Department of Economics, University of Melbourne, 1985-1988

Senior Research Fellow, Australian National University, 1982-83.

 Economist, Development Research Center, World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1973-74.

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Economics, Monash University, 1969-74.

Member of the Order of Australia (AM), 2010.

Alumni of the Year Award, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Melbourne, 2014.

Fellow, Queen's College, University of Melbourne, 1990 -

“The Development of Econometrics in Australia: 1930-2000’, History of Economics Review, 74, 2019, pp. 25-45.

The Policy Providers: A History of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 1962-2012, Melbourne University Press, 2012.

“Queen’s College and Australian Economics: 1900-1955”, History of Economics Review, No.58 (Summer) 2013, pp. 44-56.

Balanced Growth: A History of the Economics Department, University of Melbourne (editor), Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, 2009.

U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems, Universitas 21, Annual 2012-20 (with coauthors)

 “A Good National System of Higher Education: The Lessons of the U21 Rankings”. In G. Mihut, P. Altbach and H. de Wit (eds), Understanding Global Higher Education: Insights from Key Global Publications, Centre for International Higher Education in conjunction with University World News, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2017.

“Evaluating the Contribution of Higher Education to Australia’s Research Performance”, Australian Economic Review, Vol. 49, no.2, 2016, pp.174-183.

“Rules of Engagement: Measuring Connectivity in National Systems of Higher Education”, Higher Education, Vol. 70, No. 6, 2015, pp. 941-956. (with G. de Rassenfosse).

 “System Funding and Institutional Allocation”, in G. Croucher, S. Marginson, A. Norton and J. Wells (eds), The Dawkins Revolution 25 Years On, Melbourne University Press, 2013, pp. 91-107.

“History of Federal-State Fiscal Relations in Australia: A Review of the Methodologies Used”, Australian Economic Review, Vol. 45, No, 2, June 2012, pp. 145-157.