A “Keep it Clever” public awareness campaign from Universities Australia will turbo-charge a national conversation about the role of university education and research in creating the economy of the future. The commercially funded campaign highlights the lack of Australian public investment in tertiary education, and urges people to sign a petition to send the Abbott government an important message about cutting education budgets.
The campaign uses 90-second creative animation to deliver a serious message and includes a web film, digital, print, outdoor and national television advertising. It is themed “Keep it Clever”, so Australia does not get left behind.
Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson, said that success in making the economic and industrial transition from where we are today to the economy of the future demands a strong Australian university sector.
“Underpinning every successful nation is a highly capable university education and research sector,” said Ms. Robinson.
“The economy of the future is dependent on universities producing graduates with the right skills. It will rely on university research creating the new products, industries and technologies, and finding solutions to problems that we are even yet to identify.Investing in universities is an investment in long-term national productivity and prosperity,” Ms. Robinson pointed out.
“With international education our fourth largest export and largest outside natural resources, maintaining and enhancing our competitiveness as a destination of choice for international students, teachers and researchers, is a national economic and reputational imperative.”
Universities also employ over 110,000 people and directly contribute more than $23 billion to GDP. University graduates are worth an extraordinary $188 billion to the economy annually and pay $32 billion in tax. However, universities are facing a $2.3 billion cut in funding, yet to be passed through Federal Parliament. Ms. Robinson denies any allegations that the campaign is a direct pitch for federal funds in the upcoming May Budget. ‘It is not a pre-budget pitch, and I think what is important to note here is that this is a long-term campaign.’This is not a campaign that is designed to achieve any particular policy purpose in the short-term. It really is a long-term game around starting, maintaining and strengthening that national conversation about universities ‘she said.
“This campaign provides the opportunity for people to get on board in a variety of ways to join in a national discussion about the role of ideas, ingenuity, higher education and research in securing national wealth, health and well-being” Ms. Robinson said.