Universities key to our economy

The Albanese Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook reinforces the importance of universities to the economy and Australia’s prosperity.

“We congratulate the government for its economic management under challenging circumstances and welcome the intention to invest in the foundations of future growth,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.

“Unis are major economic and productivity drivers. They deliver a higher and more sustainable standard of living for all Australians through the vital functions they perform on behalf of the nation.

“Australia’s economy is $185 billion bigger because of the university-educated workforce and our institutions undertake the R&D that drives our societal, technological and economic advancement.

“For every dollar invested in university research, $5 is returned to the economy.

“If we could lift investment in 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.

“Government investment in research has fallen to its lowest level on record, which is not good enough for a nation of Australia’s standing.

“The demand for highly skilled workers and R&D to help Australia navigate current and emerging challenges is only becoming greater. We need more of what universities offer, not less.

“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.”

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