Australian universities play a critical role in supporting economic growth.
From preparing graduates for the labour force by training scientists, professionals, technicians, teachers, civil service and business leaders.
Conducting research that leads to new knowledge, supports innovation, entrepreneurship and even spin-off technologies and companies.
To generating more than $16 billion a year in export income through recruitment and training of overseas students.
Can universities measure their economic contribution to industry?
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to attempt this.
In its report, ‘The economic contributions of Australia research universities’ – the UNSW example, Deloitte used three approaches: estimating the overall contribution of university research to long-term economic growth, assessing the economic impact of the current research project undertaken by a faculty, and using a case study to examine economic impact of a research program.
The report found that 10% of GDP in 2014 was attributed to the impact of university research;
$160 billion was generated by knowledge and technology from university research in that same year;
Every $1 invested in university research produced a $5-$10 return to the economy;
$140 billion is what all university qualified workers in the economy added to GDP in 2014
UNSW’s contribution to Australia is impressive:
$1.76 billion was contributed to the Australian economy in 2014 through UNSW’s operations, and student and visitor spending
11,700 full-time jobs created by UNSW operations, and student and visitor spending in 2014
$15b added to GDP in 2014 from the impact of UNSW research on knowledge and technology
$204m added to GDP in each year from the UNSW graduating class of 2013 (undergraduate students)