In Summary

  • Swinburne backs national call for investment in research and innovation
  • University education added an estimated $140 billion to our economy in 2014
  • Proposed 20% funding cut for universities should be taken ‘off the table’

‌Swinburne University of Technology today backed a new call for a ‘game changing’ national investment strategy in wealth-generating research and innovation.

As Australia confronts a period of rapid change driven by advances in technology, there is an urgent need to invest in research, skills and ingenuity to transform our industries and create the jobs of the future.

The call for new investment in research and innovation to ensure Australia remains competitive is the centrepiece of Keep It Clever – the university sector’s pre-election policy blueprint, released today by peak body Universities Australia.

With 40 per cent of existing jobs tipped to disappear within two decades, university education and research will be vital to generate new jobs, new industries and new sources of income for Australia.

“Australia’s universities are natural partners for government in the effort to create national prosperity,” Swinburne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson, said.

“The industry-engaged research that we produce drives and supports the innovation that our businesses need to be internationally competitive. The graduates that we produce are the people who will power Australia’s future economy.”

Professor Kristjanson also repeated her call for the Australian government to take off the table its proposed 20% funding cut for universities that was a centrepiece of the 2014 Budget.

“No attempt at higher education ‘reform’ that is built around a straight-up funding cut of 20% can be justified,” Professor Kristjanson said.

“Whatever problems we face, cutting government investment and saddling students with higher debt is not the answer.”

 “I welcome Minister Birmingham’s preparedness to re-examine previous policies and to consult with universities and other stakeholders on the policy settings that will keep Australian higher education and research strong.”

“If we are serious about making the most of our natural competitive advantages as a smart country, now is the time to invest.”

Read the Keep it Clever policy statement.

Keep It Clever Fact Box