2 September 2022

The Albanese Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit has been a valuable catalyst in ensuring valuable gains in education have been and will continue to be made in Australia. The focus on secure, well-paid jobs for all Australians who want a job is important to the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) which values equity, excellence and success.

With 90 per cent of new jobs over the next five years requiring a tertiary qualification, it is vital that all parts of the education pipeline work toward ensuring equity, excellence and success.

These three tenets are mutually dependent and mutually beneficial. By centring them in higher education, it means that Australians can harness their opportunities, regardless of their postcode, background or social status.

This is important across the education pipeline. It shouldn’t matter if you choose to study at TAFEs, vocational education providers or universities – you should come away with the skills important for the world of work.

Equally important has been the announcement of lifting of the migration cap to 195,000 people. This will be vital in ensuring Australia has access to the skills needed to lift productivity and assist in Australia’s economic recovery. Skilled migration is a key tool Australia is yet to harness.

This isn’t empty rhetoric from ATN universities. As a network and with our valuable partners, we have been working to ensure we are ready to support Australians in their education journey.

In our paper with the Innovative Research Universities released earlier this year, we urged the Government to develop a clear plan to address these challenges and create opportunities for all. Our universities are committed to improving Australia’s skills future and we are ready to work with the Government to achieve this.

ATN is at the centre of getting to 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030 as outlined in the tech workforce roadmap released in August 2022 by the Tech Council of Australia and the Digital Skills Organisation. ATN universities will play a vital role in educating, upskilling and reskilling 650,000 new tech workers from Australia and abroad.

Three-way partnerships between industry, universities and government will become increasingly important in taking full advantage of the productivity enablers needed for Australia’s economic recovery.

In our recent paper with Ai Group we highlighted that these three way partnerships can provide a bridge to the global economy and collectively address the challenges and opportunities needed to boost Australia’s productivity.

Universities are a vital bridge between people and employers, both in Australia and abroad and it is hoped that the skilled migration gains catalysed by the summit will last long into the future.


ATN key facts

  • Over 220,000 domestic students including over 25,000 new first-in-family students a year
  • Nearly 100,000 international students pre-COVID with 30 per cent studying offshore
  • Three medical schools serving:
    • Hunter and Central Coast
    • Geelong and surrounds
    • Western Australia
  • ATN is the number one university group for:
    • domestic student growth (up 12 per cent since 2016)
    • architecture and building (37 per cent of students)
    • creative arts (25 per cent of students)
    • initial teacher education (18 per cent of students)
  • ATN teaches in skills priority areas including:
    • Nursing (16 per cent of students)
    • IT (19 per cent of students)
    • Engineering (27 per cent of students)
  • Of domestic students, ATN educates:
    • 22 per cent of students from non-English speaking backgrounds
    • 17 per cent of Indigenous students
    • 20 per cent of low-SES students
    • 14 per cent of students from regional areas
    • 17 per cent of students from remote areas
  • ATN is a leading research grouping:
    • $586 million research income in 2020
    • $149 million in ARC grants in 2020
    • $52 million in NHMRC grants in 2021
  • Around two-thirds of ATN’s research income is from industry and engagement
  • ATN universities are leading two Trailblazers and key partners in two others