Tech uni lobby puts the real in politick

The Australian Technology Network works with what it expects to get

Last week the Australian Technology Network slammed a substantial slice of the government’s bill for funding undergraduate teaching – disliking the proposed oversight of university enrolment practices. (CMM August 18).

But they are impressive pragmatists at the ATN. Now its revised budget submission accepts that the Job-ready Graduates package, “provides additional places for students and now we need to support our research and translation efforts.”

“For universities, the crisis and recovery mean several years of restructuring and reshaping our teaching, learning and research. As public institutions, it also means providing just and meaningful pathways (combining education and work) for Australians affected by the economic crisis and shifting industrial landscape, applying our research expertise and infrastructure to solving Australia’s wicked problems.”

ATN’s-asks appear pitched to appeal to the government’s utilitarian approach to funding universities. They include;

* “linear pathways of study and work will need to be replaced with ongoing and flexible engagement that takes into account the working lives of students and which could reasonably lead to the establishment of a skills account for everyday Australians”

* “Australia’s recovery will depend on workers having access to quality short courses and stackable credentials to up-skill or re-skill in a relatively small timeframe.”

* using the Research and Development Tax Incentive to encourage industry to employ PhD graduates

* revenue-contingent loans and vouchers for R&D, and;

* a research translation fund and support for early and mid-career researchers whose work is stalled by COVID-19