Southern Cross University has welcomed the release of a comprehensive education policy agenda by Universities Australia, the peak body representing Australia’s 39 universities.
‘A Smarter Australia’ is aimed at ensuring the central role of universities in Australia’s future is recognised.
Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor and Universities Australia board member Professor Peter Lee said the statement was an important document that provided a road map for a smarter, stronger and more prosperous Australia.
“This is the university sector’s first ever comprehensive policy agenda and is the culmination of 12 months’ work, including extensive research which found very high levels of support for Australian universities amongst the public, community and business sectors,” Professor Lee said.
“In our own case, Southern Cross University is a major contributor through the graduates we produce, and through the engaged teaching and research we conduct in partnership with our own communities.”
Professor Lee said other nations were investing heavily in their own higher education systems at the same time as countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom were seeking to expand their own international education industries.
“While there has been an increase in the level of investment made in recent years, Australia remains in the bottom 20 per cent of OECD countries for public investment in universities,” he said.
Professor Lee said the policy statement called for a partnership between the university sector and government to establish a practical and pragmatic policy framework.
Universities Australia has launched a public awareness campaign to promote a better understanding of role and contribution of universities to the economic and social wellbeing of all Australians.