Speech by Jennifer Westacott to the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference 2013

28 February 2013

In this speech to the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference 2013, Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott discusses the increasing importance of higher education and research, and education more generally, in achieving economic and social prosperity in a changing world.

She said the economic significance of education and research came down to four main areas:

  • as an input to giving Australia an appropriately skilled and qualified workforce
  • as an export industry
  • as a collaborative force in all aspects of innovation and productivity
  • through the whole ‘intangible asset’ that universities and university education give us as a community.

She then outlines why there is a need to:

  • strengthen links between industry and universities because knowledge and its practical application are mutually reinforcing
  • further deregulate student fees to allow differentiation in courses
  • work towards a significant reduction in the regulatory burden on higher education
  • get education and training working as a coherent system rather than a series of ‘walled communities’.

Ms Westacott said that in developing a long-term vision for Australia, the BCA had identified innovation and collaboration, and education, skills and workplaces, as things that Australia has to get right.

Read or download the Speech by BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott to the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference 2013 below.

Speech by Jennifer Westacott to the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference 2013