Swinburne welcomes the Victorian Government’s significant investment of $350 million to support universities through the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The Victorian Government announced the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund will be an investment in local universities to support the state’s economic rebound from the effects of COVID-19.
Swinburne Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Linda Kristjanson AO, says: “We welcome the opportunity to work with the Victorian government on a compact of projects that will drive innovative research and grow Victoria’s economy.
“With our strong capabilities in established and emerging areas vital to the economic recovery effort, and our deep industry partnerships, Swinburne is well placed to work with government on shaping a bright future for our great state.”
The fund will support universities with capital works, applied research and research partnerships. The works will focus on new technology and infrastructure, enabling universities to conduct new research, commercialise Intellectual Property and create high-value jobs.
“This investment not only supports our universities through this crisis, it ensures we have a strong higher education sector as we move to recovery,” says Victoria’s Minister for Higher Education, Gayle Tierney.
Also announced, the government will offer universities payroll tax deferrals valued at around $110 million. This is intended to provide immediate relief for universities dealing with a shortfall in funds from the downturn of international student enrolments and other revenue loss as a result of COVID-19. Universities are expected to use this funding to retain as many staff as possible, so that Victorian universities are well-placed to drive the revival of the state’s economy.
“This announcement recognises the vital importance of our university sector in both educating the future workforce and researching the innovations that will spur our economic recovery and growth,” says Professor Kristjanson.
“Supporting capital projects and research will create jobs and stimulate the economy, while payroll tax deferrals will give universities much needed cashflow during this time of crisis.”
This funding is in addition to the $260.8 million announced by the government last month to support the TAFE and training system, and the $55 million in maintenance works at TAFE as part of the $2.7 billion Building Works package.