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Australia’s universities congratulate Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the weekend’s election result and look forward to working with his Government and all members of Parliament once again.

Incoming Universities Australia Chair Professor Deborah Terry said universities would continue the very strong and constructive relationship with Government and especially our portfolio Ministers.

“Education Minister Dan Tehan has a deep passion for educational opportunity for young people from regional Australia in particular. He is overseeing half a dozen reviews into aspects of the higher education system,” she said.

“We will work closely with Government on these reviews – with a shared goal to ensure policy is informed by evidence, is thoughtful in design, and maximises educational opportunity for all Australians.”

Professor Terry said everyday Australians right across the country needed funding for student places at universities to keep up with the skilled workforce needs of the economy, inflation and the size of Australia’s growing population.

“We have a consistent long-term view on this. We must ensure young Australians – especially from battling communities really doing it tough – don’t miss out on the chance of a university education,” she said.

“As a West Australian, I know this first-hand. As in Queensland and South Australia, still only around 30 per cent of our younger people have a university degree.”

“Our focus must continue to be on opportunities for all Australians – because without those opportunities, our economy will be less competitive and our people and communities will miss out.”

“Australia also needs to educate the children born in the mid-2000s Costello baby boom – with those young Australians getting ready to go to university in the next few years. We need to make sure the sector has flexibility to meet that need.”

“We live in period of rapid technological change, amid a fourth industrial revolution. It’s imperative that Australians don’t get left behind.”

Professor Terry said Australia must also continue to invest in home-grown research breakthroughs to grow and diversify our economy, protect Australian living standards, and develop life-saving medical treatments and advances in technology.

“Australia must also continue to develop our high-quality international education sector underpinned by strong standards and excellent support for our diverse student body,” she said.

“This success has been driven by strong and consistent support from both Government and universities to offer world-class education to some of the world’s brightest young scholars.”

“Not only is this our nation’s third largest export, but it also gives Australia a vast soft power advantage in the region and opens the doors of the world to Australian businesses and industry.”

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