Canberra’s tertiary education sector driving growth


Released 22/11/2018 - Joint media release

The Chief Minister, Minister for Higher Education and Vocational Education and Skills Meegan Fitzharris and leaders of Canberra’s major tertiary education institutions met today at the Vice Chancellors’ Forum to review strategies and progress in developing Canberra as Australia’s education capital and leading knowledge city.

The Forum is the main body to drive collaboration between the government and the sector. It meets twice a year to discuss issues and opportunities facing Canberra’s major education providers.

Today’s meeting considered a report from Deloitte Access Economics which found that Canberra’s tertiary education and research sector contributes $3.3 billion and 20,000 full timejobs to Canberra’s economy, around 20 per cent greater than a similar study in 2015.

Canberra hosts five universities among world top 150 rankings, one in six Canberrans work or study at a tertiary education institution, and more people are employed in Canberra’s tertiary education sector as a percentage of the population than any other Australian State or Territory.

Canberra also has the highest level of post-secondary education attainment, with over 50 per cent of people aged 25 to 64 holding a Bachelors or higher degree, and over 11 per cent holding a postgraduate degree.

The Forum received an update from the Commonwealth Government on developments in the international education landscape, and explored ways to leverage combined efforts to more effectively market Canberra as a study destination of choice for domestic and international students, and improve the student experience (such as connections to community and engagement beyond their arrival) through the Study Canberra program.

Members also discussed a planned student safety information campaign for Semester 1 2019; the Commonwealth Government’s goal to encourage more students to study in regional Australia; future scenarios, risks and threats to the sector and possible responses; and Australian Government proposals for ensuring the sector’s academic integrity by combatting cheating-for-hire services.

The Forum also noted the recent ACT Health Summit: Research, Teaching and Training, which brought together leaders from Canberra’s tertiary education and research sectors to develop a stronger and more collaborative relationship between research, tertiary education and health service sectors in the ACT.

The Forum embodies the commitment of the ACT Government and Canberra’s tertiary education sector to continue to work in partnership to grow and diversify Canberra’s economy and community. The Forum met at the CBR Innovation Network, which is a highly successful initiative between the ACT Government and major institutions to support entrepreneurship and translation of research to community impact.

The meeting was attended by Professor Brian Schmidt AC from the Australian National University, Professor Deep Saini from the University of Canberra, Ms Leanne Cover from the Canberra Institute of Technology, Professor Michael Frater from UNSW Canberra, and Professor Andrew Vann from Charles Sturt University.

- Statement ends -

Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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