Call for clarity on federal higher education policy

AHEAD of what could be an early election, the chief of Australia's peak universities body has urged both sides of politics to reveal their plans for higher education.

Universities Australia chairman Professor Barney Glover used a speech in Canberra yesterday to call for more "clarity and certainty" on higher education policies.

He said uncertainty was "taking its toll" on universities that were planning for the future.

"It is difficult to imagine any other industry tolerating such policy instability," Prof Glover said.

"Yet when it comes to higher education - the majority contributor to Australia's third largest export industry, the cornerstone of Australia's innovation future, and a $140 billion contributor to our economy in 2014 - the rules are different."

Prof Glover also called on the Turnbull government to rethink its $2.9 billion a year research and development tax breaks, arguing the incentives had done little to drive innovation.



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