“The budget recognises the fiscal challenges and the cost-of-living pressures facing all Australians.
“Returning the budget to a strong position means we will be able to fund the things we all value and want.
“Budget 2022-23 investments in universities demonstrate their key role in the government’s strategy to build a better future around a strong economy.
“Initiatives that drive productivity pay for themselves over time with the extra economic activity generated, and universities do this in spades.
“Every dollar spent on university research returns $5 to the economy, and university-educated workers make a huge contribution across the economy, making it larger than it otherwise would be.
“The government has recognised the role universities play in a strong, modern economy and how the sector can help guide Australia through this challenging economic period.
“We look forward to engaging with the government through the Universities Accord process over the next year to achieve further positive outcomes for higher education, the economy and our nation.
“Our world-class universities are key economic drivers, educating the skilled workers our nation needs to grow and prosper while producing the research breakthroughs that drive us forward.
“We know that a skilled workforce is a productive workforce, and a productive workforce drives economic growth and a higher standard of living for all Australians.
“More than half of the one million jobs expected to be created in the next five years will require a university degree. That’s why we need more university-educated workers, not fewer.
“The additional 20,000 university places funded through the budget will ensure more people can access a university education while also helping address our country’s immediate skills needs.
“We also welcome funding in the budget to extend post-study work rights for international students.
“Skill shortages are biting hard across so many sectors of our economy right now and international students are graduating from our universities with the skills our workforce is crying out for.
“Whether it is skilled workers, export revenue or research breakthroughs, universities produce what Australia needs to thrive and more, not less, of this is needed.”
Radio grabs from Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson are available here.