“The government’s investment of $128 million in our institutions is firm recognition of our role in supporting this national priority,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“The planning, construction, operation and maintenance of our nuclear-powered submarines will not be possible without the skilled workers our unis educate or the research they undertake.
“Australia’s universities are willing partners of government in growing and sustaining our defence workforce to meet current and future skills needs.
“These additional places are a welcome boost in this endeavour, and we thank the government for its support.
“We need to do everything we can now to educate the workers we desperately need to deliver projects and initiatives that will keep Australians safe in the face of increasing geopolitical risks.
“Universities will do everything they can to fill allocated places starting in 2024, noting the short period of time they have to recruit students given the timing of the announcement.
“We would welcome an assurance from government that any unfilled places in 2024 will be rolled over to 2025. A scenario in which places are lost would not be in the government or Australia’s interest and we will continue to engage with government on this.”