It aims to maintain a thriving university sector in Australia and to ensure proper, ongoing public investment in university education and research.
The initiative argues that for Australia to maintain its status as a leading nation in research and innovation, for the economy to thrive and to create the highly skilled workforce it will demand, public investment in universities is critical.
Some of the key messages include:
Be Proud – Including Australia’s university systems ranking, contribution to the economy (particularly in Regional Australia), Australia as a Research and Innovation Leader
Taking Australia Forward – Future industries will require a high-skilled workforce
Cashed Up and Catching Up – OECD reports showing public investment in tertiary education as a % of GDP rankings
The Time to Act is Now – Higher education investment is a good long-term investment.
The government response has been one of acknowledgement and that some complimentary actions are being put into place. These include reducing reporting requirements and regulation and scrapping a $2000 cap on tax deductions for self-education expenses. On May 13, the Australian Federal Budget was released with a number of reforms, cuts and the establishment of a new Medical Research Future Fund which we will seek to explore in more detail in a later posting.