“The interim report makes clear that our institutions are essential to Australia’s progress and success in delivering the skills and knowledge that fuels our economic and social firepower,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“As Australia grows and adapts in a fast-changing environment, there is an increasing need for what universities do in supporting government to deliver national priorities.
“There is much to welcome in the interim report, including the five immediate action items which have been accepted by the government.
“Universities have long called for uncapped places for all Indigenous students and the removal of barriers to a university education for students from underrepresented backgrounds, which the creation of more study hubs will help facilitate.
“The extension of the Higher Education Continuity Guarantee is a vital step toward providing the funding certainty that our institutions need to continue doing their job for the nation.
“The removal of the 50 per cent pass rule under the Job-ready Graduates package is very welcome and we support the government’s intention to explore new funding models that are fairer for students and provide the resources universities need to educate the next generation.
“Universities will continue to engage with government around issues relating to governance to ensure we are providing the best possible work and learning environment for staff and students.”
Universities Australia Chair Professor David Lloyd said that the interim report demonstrated the immense value arising from the submissions made to date.
“The detail, depth and quality of the work underscores the importance of the tertiary education system in building a stronger Australia,” Professor Lloyd said.
“Clear and constructive consideration has been given to deeper reforms around widening participation, future funding for core teaching, and support for research activities and infrastructure.
“We look forward to undertaking appropriate and thorough interrogation of the considerations contained within the report as they evolve towards firmer recommendations.
“Getting the outcomes right will ensure the sector succeeds for the benefit of all Australians.
“We thank Minister Clare, Professor Mary O’Kane AC and the panel for their work to date and welcome the opportunities in front of us to continue working together to create a policy environment that enables universities to deliver for all Australians in the decades ahead.”