The productivity gains – worth an estimated $10 billion each year over the past three decades – illustrate the crucial role of university research breakthroughs in transforming and modernising Australia’s economy.
The new modelling and analysis is one of the key findings of the full Deloitte Access Economics latest report, The importance of universities to Australia’s prosperity, launched today.
The $10 billion productivity boost is in addition to the $25 billion that universities contribute to the Australian economy (directly and indirectly) and $12 billion from international education annually.
The report also finds that the Australian economy’s demand for university graduates is increasing, as is the calibre of education they require in the 21st century knowledge economy.
It projects that demand for university qualifications will grow by 34 per cent in the decade to 2025, with an additional 342,000 graduates a year needed to fuel the knowledge economy.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said the report’s compelling findings are further proof of the vital role that our universities play in driving economic growth and prosperity.
“Not only does this report outline the enormous contribution of our universities today, it argues that the importance of our universities will soar in the Australia of tomorrow,” Ms Robinson said.
“Over the coming decades, it will be the skills and smarts of our people that will be central to the strength of the Australian economy.
“At the same time, university research and innovation will continue to be an indispensable driver of technological progress – particularly as we transition to the new knowledge economy.
“Already, millions of people around the world rely on discoveries made in Australian universities – think of the bionic ear or the cervical cancer vaccine. We believe that this is just the beginning.
“To realise the enormous potential of our universities, Australia must ensure that it properly invests in education and research now.
“With our competitors investing heavily in the knowledge economy, we must make our own game-changing investment, or we will fall behind those that do,” Ms Robinson said.
The report helped to inform Universities Australia’s pre-election blueprint, Keep it Clever, released earlier this month, but also includes new figures that have not previously been released.
You can access the full Deloitte Access Economics report at: www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au