University research and innovation drives economic growth, national productivity and the wellbeing of all Australians.

University research not only leads to new products and new industries, it also informs public debate,  improves our health and wellbeing and helps solve our most complex problems. It adds to our understanding of our history, culture, society and appreciation of the world around us.

Cutting-edge research in Australian universities also informs how we educate the next generation of university-trained professionals, researchers and leaders.

Universities Australia advocates for the benefits of university research and has consistently called for sustained Government funding to underpin Australia’s research efforts.

Universities Australia runs a campaign to showcase how university research saves and changes lives.

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At a glance

  • In 2018, universities contributed $41 billion to the Australian economy.
  • Australia is responsible for 2.7 per cent of the world’s scientific output while being home to only 0.34 per cent of the world’s population.
  • Government investment in higher education has almost tripled over the past three decades, from $6.7 billion in 1989 to $18.4 billion in 2018–19.
  • More than 90 per cent of Australian university research is rated as world class or higher.
  • Around 88 per cent of Australian university research has medium to high positive impact for the wider community.
  • Australian university research has strong international links. More than half of scientific articles by Australian academics having an international co-author.