Published on 16 April 2014
The University of the Sunshine Coast has joined a new national campaign to build public awareness of university education and research to ensure Australia is not left behind in an increasingly competitive global environment.
The “Keep it Clever” campaign by Universities Australia – the peak body for Australia’s universities – uses innovative creative concepts across a range of media to highlight how important higher education is to Australia’s future.
It can be viewed at a Universities Australia website and on Facebook.
USC’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said this important campaign would help ensure Australians were aware of the critical role played by universities in providing education, research and innovation.
“To remain competitive, our workforce will demand more qualified graduates and our economy will rely on the creation of new companies, industries, jobs and opportunities that can only come from a strong university sector,” Professor Hill said.
“Highly skilled graduates are what our economy needs to prosper as global competition intensifies. Building our higher education system is crucial for lifting national productivity and prosperity.
“High-quality university research is critical to Australia maintaining its competitive position in the export of university education services, for driving productivity, creating new jobs, companies and industries, and for diversifying the economy and enriching our society.”
Professor Hill said Australian universities were giving back to the country in countless ways.
“University research and innovation continues to put Australia on the world stage,” he said. “International education is our biggest export besides resources, and universities employ more than 110,000 people and directly contribute more than $23 billion to our GDP.
“The University of the Sunshine Coast currently injects more than $536 million every year into the local economy, provides job-ready graduates for local industries and conducts research that has local, national and international significance.”
Professor Hill said USC recognised that health was the number one employer in the region and provided a range of allied health degrees that included Nursing Science, Paramedic Science, Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Biomedical Science.
“This year we have introduced new degrees in Law and Creative Industries in response to strong community demand and our campus is undergoing a major building expansion to stay ahead of our continued rapid growth,” he said.
Professor Hill said the “Keep it Clever” campaign was timely given that Australia’s public investment in tertiary education as a percentage of GDP had slipped to 25th out of 30 advanced economies.
“When we underinvest in universities, we put at risk the national productivity growth, industrial diversity and long-term economic transformation required to ensure Australia remains competitive in the future,” he said.
— Terry Walsh