Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said she looked forward to working constructively with the new leadership of the country, including newly elected Deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg.
She said the change of Prime Minister was an opportunity to reconsider decisions made by the Turnbull Government.
“We urge new Prime Minister Scott Morrison to overturn the economy-damaging cuts to universities and end the university funding freeze,” Ms Jackson said.
“Universities are the engine room of national growth and prosperity — so it makes no sense to cut the source of our future economic growth.”
“If we want to ensure Australia has a smart and skilled workforce, and if we are going to ensure talented, capable Australians can go to university, then these cuts must be reversed.”
Ms Jackson said modelling by Cadence Economics, commissioned by Universities Australia earlier this year, showed the economy would take a $12 billion hit because of the cuts.
“Less university funding means fewer skilled graduates in the workforce — that’s a problem for labour productivity and ultimately, the government’s own Budget bottom line.”
“Universities help to bring in $31 billion a year by educating international students who support Australian jobs and wages. These cuts also risk the quality of our income-generating international education sector — Australia’s third largest export sector.”