“We agree that productivity is key to a prosperous and bright future for Australia,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“On top of increasing inflation, everyday Australians continue to grapple with the effects of our slow productivity growth, we must throw everything we can at fixing it.
“Australia can’t deliver the innovation and new ideas we’ll need to drive productivity and solve the challenges facing our economy without its universities.
“Universities are an integral part of all four areas of policy focus identified by the Productivity Commission – innovation, new ideas and processes; data, digital technology and cyber security; a productivity-friendly business environment; and a skilled and educated workforce.
“Universities produce the highly-skilled graduates and technological and social innovation that the country needs to lift productivity.
“They are helping build the workforce of tomorrow, generating the bright ideas we’ll need and powering businesses to innovate and thrive.
“Universities deliver significant economic gains, too. For every dollar invested in research and teaching, $5 and $3 is returned to the economy.
“One proven way to boost productivity is to strengthen collaboration between the industry and university sectors, so we welcome the report’s encouragement of more research and development. The data tells us that there is work to do to raise Australia’s R&D investment.
“We also note the report’s reflections on the requirements of a modern economy and agree that quality teaching in universities is an integral part of delivering big productivity gains.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Productivity Commission, and the government at the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit and beyond, to present solutions to challenges and opportunities Australia faces.”