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Go8 Media Release: Go8 Priority Directions for the success of Australia’s Higher Education sector

Go8 Priority Directions for the success of Australia’s Higher Education sector


Outstanding research and innovation has been at the core of Australia’s economic success in the past, and it will be vital to our successes in the future.

The Group of Eight (Go8), Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, is issuing Priority Directions 2, setting out three critical priorities for an incoming Government:

  • The research funding model has been distorted in recent decades. It no longer provides the solid foundation needed, and must be addressed.
  • A nationally targeted approach to post-secondary education – including TAFE – must be adopted.
  • International engagement, in every sense of the term, must be prioritised, in order to maintain Australia’s international reputation and enhance competitive advantages.

Go8 Chief Executive, Vicki Thomson, said that Australia’s universities deliver for our nation on their missions of research, education and international engagement. The Go8’s economic impact – in the order of $66 billion per year – benefits all Australians, irrespective of whether they have a degree.

“We successfully address the grand challenges set before us by the Australian community. Too often, however, these efforts have been undermined by cuts to research funding and a piecemeal approach to policy that is threatening the future of Australia’s research excellence. ”

“Our competitor nations such as the US, Germany, China, Canada, the UK, and Israel continue to see the imperative of providing adequate research funding to universities,” she said.

“Australian universities are ever more reliant on fee-paying students, private sector money and philanthropy to assist both domestic teaching and our research. If this continues unabated, then Australian research efforts will be overwhelmed by the scale of our international competitors in the decades to come.

“To underline the message to an incoming Government, Priority Directions 2 sets out the national pay-off from supporting Australia’s world-leading higher education sector, as well as the significant consequences of not doing so.”

Ms Thomson said the Go8 survives on its global reputation for quality – quality students, quality graduates, and research that is rated by the Government as 99.6 per cent world class standard or above.

“Through Priority Directions 2, the Go8 is setting out what needs to be done to deliver an integrated vision of research, education and international engagement in higher education and across post-secondary education more broadly. The Go8 calls on the incoming Government to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to develop and implement this vision.”

Contact :  Vicki Thomson    Group of Eight Chief Executive   on +61 417 808 472