The Australian Council for Learned Academies (ACOLA) has published a statement in response to the recent announcements on higher education reforms by the Australian Government. 

The statement highlights the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives to help tackle the challenges Australia is facing today and in the future. 

ACOLA welcomes the government’s investment in supporting Indigenous students and those from remote and regional areas, but is concerned about the restructuring of tuition fees which risk inhibiting the pipeline of workers and researchers. A balance of HASS (humanities and social sciences) and STEM skills remain crucial in helping Australia solve real-world problems and driving innovation. 

The statement calls for a focus on research and innovation as key drivers of Australia’s economic and societal recovery from the pandemic: 

“Investing more in universities, students, and research will be critical to Australia’s recovery from COVID-19 and its impacts. A new research funding model that adequately supports the full costs of research – basic and applied – across the disciplines is urgently needed to support Australia’s social and economic recovery and to ensure retention of up to 7,000 researchers whose jobs are at risk as a result of COVID-19.”

To full statement can be downloaded below and further information is available from ACOLA

We are pleased to support this statement, as an Associate Member of ACOLA.