“These welcome initiatives acknowledge the important role that universities and research play in driving national wellbeing” said Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson.
However, the peak body has expressed concern that projects normally funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council would be funded by re-directing grants from expert-approved Australian Research Council research projects.
The documents released today show that the Coalition will “reprioritise” $103 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) spending.
This will be used to help fund an overall boost in investment in medical research by $190 million.
“Increasing investment in health and medical research will further strengthen Australia’s comparative advantage but we should be careful that this does not come at the expense of other worthwhile research projects that have been subjected to the most rigorous and independent assessment processes,” Ms Robinson said.
“By encouraging more students to study overseas, the $60 million boost in funding for the New Colombo Plan will help to further cement Australia’s future in the Asia-Pacific region.”