House debates

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Questions without Notice

Tertiary Education

2:39 pm

Photo of Lucy WicksLucy Wicks (Robertson, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Education. Will the minister please update the House on how the Morrison government is supporting Australia's world-class university research and encouraging stronger links with industry to drive jobs in our post COVID-19 economic recovery?

2:40 pm

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Robertson for her question and for her absolutely passionate advocacy on behalf of the University of Newcastle, especially for enabling places. Enabling places are locked in under our Job-ready Graduates Package, and well done for your passionate advocacy on behalf of the university. In this year's budget we're providing record funding for higher education: $18 billion, and it grows to $20 billion by 2024. That's an extra $2 billion for those on the other side who can't add up. There is $1 billion extra in the budget for university research.

Now, this is really important. This is the biggest single annual investment in higher education research ever.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

That's a long time!

Photo of Dan TehanDan Tehan (Wannon, Liberal Party, Minister for Education) Share this | | Hansard source

That is a long time, Prime Minister—a very long time! Not only did we put that $1 billion in there; there's $157 million for research infrastructure in the budget and $5.8 million to design a scheme to accelerate turning university research into new products, job creation, productivity gains and economic growth. And this is really important because we do have world class research in this country, but we've got to make sure we can translate it and commercialise it. That's what we're going to dedicate the next few months to achieving.

It's very interesting to see what the sector said about the budget. They were very complimentary.

Opposition members interjecting

I hear from those opposite, but listen to what Professor Helen Bartlett had to say:

The new research funding in the research block grant will help regional universities expand world class research capacity in areas such as health, agriculture, environmental studies and engineering. Investment in research in the regions generates jobs and economic growth

What did Luke Sheehy, the Australian Technology Network of Universities executive director, have to say? I'm sure the shadow minister is very interested in this.

The Morrison Government have put universities at the centre of their plans for recovery and we stand ready to do our part.

What did Professor Deb Terry have to say?

The Government clearly understands you can't have an economic recovery without investing in research and development.

This will ensure world-class research and discovery can continue on Australia's university campuses. That means universities can play their part in the national effort to rebuild the economy.

(Time expired)