Labor congratulates the Australian universities improving the nation’s performance in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, propelled by their successes in research.
The unprecedented concentration of Australian institutions in the top 100 is an outstanding result, a testament to the years of record support for university research under the previous Labor Government.
While this recognition at the top is most gratifying, the nation’s excellent performance right down the line must also be acknowledged. More than half of our universities are now within the top 500 of the global ranking – a remarkable achievement in itself, but even more stunning on a per capita basis.
This widespread improvement is a vindication of Labor’s policies to share research expertise across the sector, including through the Collaborative Research Networks (CRN). The Liberal government has run down the CRN program, but the long-term payoff of years of skills-development initiated by Labor is still bearing fruit.
Labor calls on the Liberal Government to reverse the full $3 billion quantum of its cuts to research and science, to ensure that this surge in performance does not prove to be a spike. Australia can capitalise on this performance and keep improving from this high base, but only if we as a nation take the funding of university research seriously.
As part of this, Labor commends to the Government our election pledge to inject $85 million over six years to develop two new rounds of CRN, so that regional, outer metropolitan and non-research-intensive universities can get a fair go and continue to enter the pantheon of the world’s most effective research universities.