Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said Australia’s universities exist to serve the nation, but they can’t continue to operate under a cloud of policy and funding uncertainty.
“Australia needs more of what universities offer, not less,” Ms Jackson said.
“More research and development to navigate the various multigenerational challenges before us, and more skilled graduates to drive productivity gains and grow our economy.
“We live in a world where half of all the new jobs being created will require a university qualification, yet Australian universities are increasingly financially vulnerable.
“A decade of constant change to policy and funding settings have resulted in caps on university places, confused market signals being sent to students, the abandonment of infrastructure investment and government investment in research sinking to an all-time low.
“We can’t continue to perform our vital functions, on behalf of all Australians, under policies that are hindering rather than helping our institutions.
“Universities need to be properly and fully supported if we are to continue delivering for the nation, and the Accord is government’s opportunity to provide the stability and certainty we need.
“Universities fully recognise the opportunity presented by the Accord. We intend to embrace it in the interest of our world-class sector and the communities we serve.”
Ms Jackson will attend the final meeting of the Universities Accord Ministerial Reference Group tomorrow.
Read her full opinion piece in today’s edition of The Australian.