The submission outlines a range of drivers to improve Australia’s productivity growth and highlights the vital role universities play in finding the solutions.
“Australia’s enviable economic growth, low unemployment and high living standards depend largely on improving productivity, but our productivity growth has slowed,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“We know that everyday Australians are feeling the effects of our productivity problem so we need to throw everything we can at fixing it.”
“Our university sector is at the heart of driving Australia’s productivity, through the highly-skilled graduates we produce and the technological and social innovation we generate through research.”
“University graduates and researchers continue to tackle the biggest challenges, from developing new technologies and industries to responding to crises such as global pandemics and climate change.”
“Universities are helping build the workforce of tomorrow, generating the bright ideas we’ll need and powering businesses to innovate and thrive.”
“If we lift investment in higher education research and development by just one per cent, every Australian would reap the benefits.”
“One proven way to boost productivity is to strengthen collaboration between the industry and university sectors. The data tell us that there is work to do to raise Australia’s research and development investment.”
“A shift in public support for business research and innovation – towards direct support and away from tax concessions – can better provide the incentives for business to do research and foster industry-university partnerships.”
The submission also calls for a range of other initiatives to unleash the potential of universities to drive productivity, deal with some of Australia’s most pressing challenges and increase the size of the economy including:
- expanding university places to meet the growing need for skilled graduates;
- supporting people wishing to upskill and retrain quickly via microcredentials;
- encouraging university and community-based partnerships to get more health professional students into aged, disability and primary care faster;
- supporting complementary use of technology to help health professional students complete the practical learning components of their degrees on time; and
- removing red tape burdens that inhibit peak performance.
Universities Australia has released an overview of key facts and figures, the full submission to the Productivity Commission as well as supporting modelling from Deloitte Access Economics – The importance of universities to Australia’s prosperity.