Manufacturing News, Research and Development

Australian Universities Accord report highlights need for R&D and skills development

The Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering (ATSE) has welcomed the Australian Universities Accord final report’s emphasis on increasing investment in research and development (R&D), enhancing diversity and inclusion, and prioritising critical skills.

The recommendations present far-reaching interventions to improve the Australian higher education system and if implemented, will make Australia smarter, more prosperous and globally competitive.

The report has a strong focus on increasing R&D investment through a whole=of-government approach.

The ATSE welcomes the recommendations to support life-long learning. Developing a system of stackable qualifications and increasing research students’ stipends could be a gamechanger for enabling greater diversity in higher education.

ATSE chief executive officer, Kylie Walker said, “The recommendation for government research grants to fully fund the cost of university research is a critical to ensuring Australia’s universities remain world leading. It will help universities to commit to and produce world class research without compromising the teaching and education quality.”

Among other diverse and underrepresented groups, the report positions Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples at the heart of the tertiary education system.

“Targets aimed at ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are participating in higher education at the same rate as population representation are essential for addressing the vast disparity. Doubling Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) by 2050 and increasing support for under-represented groups will boost Australia’s potential to train and maintain a diverse STEM-skilled workforce,” said Walker.

ATSE welcomes the recommendation for the Australian Government to lay out a staged approach to implementation, overseen by an Implementation Advisory Committee.

“Implementing these recommendations in full will clear a path towards a thriving, inclusive, achieving higher education sector,” said Walker.

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering is a Learned Academy comprising independent experts dedicated to helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.

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