The report – launched yesterday by Chair Professor Ian Jacobs in a compelling address to the National Press Club – shows Group of Eight universities generate $66.4 billion for the economy.
The modelling by British-based firm London Economics also shows that for every dollar spent on research, $10 flows back to the private sector. It also finds that graduates make a major contribution to the nation’s tax base.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson commended the Group of Eight on a terrific resource that made a strong case about community benefit.
“This Go8 report by London Economics is a powerful reminder about the virtuous cycle of investment in universities – because that’s what it is, an investment, rather than a cost,” she said.
“As Professor Ian Jacobs said in his National Press Club address, education is the key to breaking entrenched disadvantage; education is the new wealth of nations.”
“What this work shows once again is when we fund universities to educate students and to conduct research, it delivers returns to our communities that are worth up to ten times more than the original public investment.”
“So the financial return is profound – and, as Professor Jacobs outlined movingly yesterday – so are the many benefits that change or alter lives for the better.”
“Advances that include saving the lives of young women who may have had a grandmother or mother die of cervical cancer – who can now obtain the Gardasil vaccination, developed by researchers at an Australian university.”
Ms Jackson said the findings in the Go8 report by London Economics were also consistent with several other major pieces of work commissioned by Universities Australia in recent years.
These include a 2015 Deloitte report on the importance of universities to national prosperity, a 2016 Cadence study on the ‘graduate effect’ of higher education spillover benefits to the economy, and 2018 Cadence work on how the university funding freeze will harm future GDP and tax take.