“At the centre of every successful nation is a university system providing higher education and conducting research that drives innovation and productivity; promotes global engagement and international competitiveness; fosters industrial diversity and underpins economic growth”, Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson said.
“Australians want to know what role the major parties see universities playing in meeting the skills needs of the future and in under-pinning the well-being of the nation”, Ms Robinson said.
“Universities Australia encourages both major parties to acknowledge the importance and magnitude of the return to the economy and to the Australian community on investing in higher education.”
Following the Government’s recent announcement to reduce funding to higher education by $3.8 billion, Universities Australia welcomes today’s confirmation by the Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, that a Coalition Government will not cut education.
“Australia already ranks 25th out of 30 advanced economies for public investment in higher education as a percentage of GDP. We cannot afford to fall further behind”, Ms Robinson said.
Ms Robinson said that neither of the major parties, however, has made clear their vision for Australian higher education including:
- ensuring adequate, predictable and sustainable public investment for teaching and research;
- maintaining the demand-driven system;
- support for a National Research Investment Plan;
- strategies for maintaining and enhancing the international competitiveness of Australia as a destination of choice for international students;
- actions for reducing the dead weight impact of regulatory over-kill.