Advocacy in Action - Group of Eight


This month, outgoing Chairman John Langoulant AO hosted his final Chairman’s 20 before passing on the role to Kate Lamont, who will be leading the Committee’s Board from mid-November. Over lunch, Committee for Perth members heard from Professor Dawn Freshwater, Vice Chancellor of The University of Western Australia on findings from the recently released Economic Impact of Group of Eight Universities report.

The eight universities that make up the Group of Eight (Go8) include The Australian National University, Monash University, The University of Adelaide, The University of Melbourne, UNSW Australia, The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland and The University of Western Australia.

Together, the Go8 forms a coalition of world-leading research intensive universities which are consistently the highest ranking Australian universities. The report details the significant economic contribution of Go8 universities, through research, teaching and learning activities, spending and generation of export revenue.

The Vice Chancellor shared results of the report, which found that the total impact of eight Australian universities was $66.43bn in 2016, enough to fund our Medicare system. Combined, they provided education for a total of 380,100 students through 51,640 staff members. With $17.98 billion of this impact generated through exports in international education, the report also found that one-third of international students chose to study at a Go8 university Australia wide.

Specific to local context, The University of Western Australia generated an economic impact of $4.47 billion in 2016, and generated 2.5 jobs per student, providing a total of 10,155 jobs in 2016. The report identified that WA had a low share in export income generation, with members around the table agreeing that the local sector needs to work together, along with government to enact significant change, enable the right policy settings and propose workable solutions.

The Committee’s Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom report seeks to address some of the issues around the education sector.

Read the Go8 report here.

Other articles from Insight, October 2018 (view email newsletter):