By Catriona Jackson, Universities Australia Chief Executive
We need to do everything we can to lift Australia’s productivity and move towards a more modern and faster growing economy. Australia’s universities are at the heart of this.
They educate the skilled workers who make our economy $185 billion bigger than it otherwise would be and undertake the research and development work that drives our societal, technological and economic advancement.
If we could lift investment in higher education R&D by just one per cent, we could raise productivity and increase the size of Australia’s economy by $24 billion over 10 years.
Constant tweaks to our policy and funding settings have seen university places capped and government investment in R&D fall to its lowest ever share of gross domestic product.
To reverse Australia’s productivity fortunes, government must seriously invest in the institutions that drive productivity and grow the economy in ways that pay for themselves.
Our universities do this in spades, but we can’t continue doing more with less, and this is what the Universities Accord must address.