Business Supports Enhancements to Higher Education Reforms

Joint statement by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia

Australia's leading business organisations believe the tabling of the Higher Education Reform Package in Parliament today represents progress on a critical issue for Australian industry.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia have argued for significant reforms in financing and governance to support the long-term sustainability of the higher education sector.

Without reform, Australia’s education system and our capacity to be world-leader in knowledge, research and innovation will flounder.

The enhancements to the reform package announced by Minister Nelson today, represent progress in addressing concerns raised in the debate on the package so far.

Any reform package should be judged on the basis of sustainability of funding, the rewarding of excellence, flexibility, fairness and increasing the value to Australia of its university sector.

Only by meeting these principles can Australia’s universities deliver the world-class educational and research outcomes required by students, the community and the Australian economy.

A more vibrant and business-focused university sector is inextricably linked to the future growth of the Australian economy.

If we don’t get these reforms right or they are stymied, the cost to Australia is likely to be immense

Business will be considering the details of the draft legislation over the next few weeks and hopes considered assessment of the reform package will allow agreement to be reached by all stakeholders.