6 December 2012

SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
MEDIA RELEASE


Record investment lifts university research rankings


Ten Australian universities are performing above the world standard for research, including four performing at well above world standard as a result of the Gillard Government’s record investment in research.

Science and Research Minister, Senator Chris Evans, today launched the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2012 National Report, which shows the number of disciplines that Australian universities perform at above world standard level has doubled.

“The ERA report shows Australia is on track to have 10 universities in the world’s top 100 by 2025—a target set out in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper,” Senator Evans said.

“The report shows that 97 per cent of Government funding in competitive grants—more than $3.75 billion over the reporting period—is invested in research at or above world standard.

“There has been a 24 per cent increase in the amount of research being undertaken, a 16 per cent increase in the number of patents being secured and a nine per cent increase in the number of researchers employed.

“As a nation, we have outstanding strength in a growing number of disciplines, including medicine, law, history, engineering, and business and management.

“Australians should be proud that the Government’s record investment of almost $9 billion in science, research and innovation this year is delivering real value for money—boosting opportunities for researchers, developing new technologies, generating knowledge and delivering better living standards.”

Senator Evans said the Gillard Government had deliberately invested heavily in fellowships to keep the world’s best researchers here in Australia.

“More of the world’s best and brightest researchers are now calling Australia home and, as a result, a greater number of our universities are producing more world-class research,” Senator Evans said.

“For example, by 2013 we will have invested almost $240 million in more than 80 Laureate Fellowships, specifically designed to attract and retain the world’s most elite researchers here in Australia.

“The ERA report shows our investment is paying off. The size and productivity in our research sector is increasing—we have more researchers, more output overall, and more output per researcher.”

Senator Evans said the Government will undertake the third round of ERA in 2015.

The Australian Research Council will consult with the sector on the inclusion of impact measures to help further track university research performance.

“I thank the ARC and the university sector for working together to develop this important report,” Senator Evans said.

“It is confirmation for Australians that we should be proud of our country’s world class research reputation—and that Labor’s strong investment will continue to pay dividends.”

For more information on ERA and to view the report, visit the ARC Website.

Senator Evans’ Media Contact: 
Amy McKenna 0408 570 603