Uni R&D boosts the economy – Universities Australia

Australia’s universities have told the Productivity Commission that the economy could be $24 billion bigger over 10 years if investment in higher education research and development was lifted by just one per cent.

Their submission outlines a range of drivers to improve Australia’s productivity growth and highlights the vital role universities play in finding the solutions.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said: “Australia’s enviable economic growth, low unemployment and high living standards depend largely on improving productivity, but our productivity growth has slowed.

“We know that everyday Australians are feeling the effects of our productivity problem so we need to throw everything we can at fixing it.”

Jackson said the university sector was at the heart of driving Australia’s productivity, through the highly-skilled graduates it produces and the technological and social innovation it generates 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.”

Jackson said one proven way to boost productivity was 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.”

The submission calls for:

  • Expanding university places to meet the growing need for skilled graduates
  • Supporting people wishing to upskill and retrain quickly via microcredentials
  • Universities Australia has released an overview of key facts and figure, the full submission to the Productivity Commission as well as supporting modelling from Deloitte Access Economics here.

Image: Universities Australia

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