Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jeanette Hacket today called on Western Australians to support the national Smartest Investment campaign for increased public investment in universities.
“Almost $4 billion has been cut from universities and students in the last six months,” Professor Hacket said.
“The strongest nations in our region are investing in their best resources – their minds – by driving skills, science and research at universities and Australia must do the same.”
Professor Hacket said universities had the ability to transform our economy and secure the future.
“Although Australia has less than 0.3 per cent of the world’s population, we account for over three per cent of the world’s scientific research, and university graduates have been worth over $170 billion to our economy annually.
“An investment in our universities is an investment in our future.”
Professor Hacket said universities nationally attracted over one million students, employed over 100,000 staff and directly contributed $22 billion to our GDP (1.6 per cent).
“We need to increase our voice in Canberra, especially as the Federal Government has cut $3.8 million out of the sector since late last year, including $2.8 billion to fund the Gonski school reforms,” she said.
“The efficiency dividend recently announced by Government would cut Curtin’s funding by an estimated $5 million in 2014 and $8.5 million in 2015.
“These cuts hurt not only our universities but our country, and come at a time when our public investment in universities ranks just 25th out of 29 advanced economies.”
Professor Hacket encouraged people to visit the campaign website to learn more, and to then contact their local MP and follow the campaign on social media. To visit the website, click here.
Julia Nicol, Director Public and Community Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 7711; Mobile: 0409 202134; Email: email@example.com