Unis fund the growth in higher education R&D outlays

Higher education organisations spent $10.878bn on Research and Development in 2016, according to new numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Growth was driven by universities spending their own general funds.

The ABS reports HERD spending was up seven per cent in current prices on 2014 and double the 2006 figure. As a share of GDP, higher education R&D slipped from 0.63 per cent in ‘14 to 0.62 per cent in 2016.

While spending from general funds was up $610m, or 11 per cent, on 2014, outlays from competitive grants were down $159m or 9 per cent.

The biggest increase was in Victoria, up 11 per cent while South Australia went backwards, down 2 per cent.

Medical and Health Sciences accounted for 28 per cent of HERD spending, followed by engineering (10 per cent), biological sciences (9 per cent) and studies in human society (4 per cent).

In news that will surprise as many as no postgraduate students, the ABS reports they did most (57 per cent) of the research work.



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