The Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) today is pleased that the release of the New Directions Paper by the Opposition Leader, Mr Kevin Rudd, MP and Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Mr Stephen Smith MP places firmly on the national agenda the benefits to Australia of a robust university sector, and the level of funding required to maintain quality higher education and university graduates.
"The Paper supports the AVCC position that one of the fundamental elements to Australia's strong economic position is the quality of Australian university graduates," AVCC President Professor Gerard Sutton said.
"Vice-Chancellors are pleased that this paper places at the centre of the national debate on the economy and productivity, the impact that universities and their graduates have on Australia's prosperity and international standing.
"With a strong economy, Australia needs to invest more into education, enabling the nation to meet the challenges of the future by continuing to produce quality university graduates," he said.
"Now that qualified Australian students have greater access to a university place, it is now time to look towards maintaining the quality of the university experience for our students, and to maintaining the reputation of Australian universities and their international competitiveness.
"To do this Australia's investment in university graduates must be increased.
"The sector is looking to a 15 per cent increase in the Government's contribution per student over three years, built up at five per cent a year," Professor Sutton said.
The AVCC looks forward to working with the Government and Labor to ensure the future strength of the Australian economy.
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