25 October 2022

Funding and initiatives delivered in tonight’s Federal Budget by Treasurer Jim Chalmers has confirmed that higher education will be a cornerstone of Australia’s domestic and global recovery and will ready us for a successful future.

Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) Executive Director, Luke Sheehy, said the Federal Government has delivered on its pre-election promises to higher education.

“This will ensure greater participation in higher education. This is not only great for the Australian economy but is also a transformational ticket that changes an individual’s life – especially those who are first in family to go to university,” Mr Sheehy said.

“ATN universities have a long history of innovation and delivering the skills that people across our cities and regions will need to succeed in growing and emerging industries – we’re proud to deliver the ideas that will ensure Australia’s future and educate the workforce Australia needs to deliver on that future.”

The Federal Government has delivered for universities, announcing:

  • 20,000 new university places
  • Startup Year funding
  • A commitment to the Trailblazers Universities Program
  • Funding to progress Universities Accord
  • International engagement focused on Pacific and Southeast Asia; and,
  • Key research projects to modernise the resources economy and improve our renewable energy future

ATN Chair, Professor Iain Martin, said funding for the Trailblazer Universities Program is vital, as it will allow Curtin University to pioneer the critical minerals and resources industries, Deakin University and The University of Newcastle to transform energy and recycling, and UniSA to develop our space industry.

“This investment in Trailblazers is backed up by a swathe of research projects to modernise Australia’s resources economy and improve our clean, green, renewable energy future – this is critical to building our collective expertise and capacity in these areas,” Professor Martin said.

Strong universities provide access and opportunity, generate new ideas and innovations and, most importantly, successfully graduate job-ready students.

“It is also heartening to see the Government investing in our relationships in the Pacific and Southeast Asia – as leading providers of transnational education, ATN universities will be a vital part of developing industries and skills in collaboration with local partners,” Mr Sheehy said.

“The announcements by Treasurer Jim Chalmers are a huge step in the right direction, which will help the sector work on some of the most pressing issues facing our sector, including creating a fair and balanced funding system, embracing new opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, and building our local industries and skill base,” Mr Sheehy said.