Press release

26 Sep 2019 , 15:49 Melbourne, AU

$3.1 bn uplift possible through improved university outcomes for students

EY has released a study that demonstrates the potential economic productivity uplift from improving outcomes for university students.

Professional services firm EY has found that the productivity uplift from improving outcomes for university students could add $3.1 billion a year to GDP by 2030.

EY’s report “The productivity uplift from better outcomes for our university students” produced for Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, found that improving the alignment between the skills of graduates and the skills required by the workforce represents a fundamental opportunity to boost economic growth and productivity. 

Catherine Friday, EY Managing Partner Oceania Government and Health Sciences said:

“Reforms to higher education that improve graduate employment outcomes will strengthen the labour force and deliver a lasting productivity dividend to the national economy.”

The report found that the completion rate for domestic graduates had dropped from 75 per cent in 2009 to just 66 per cent in 2017. Improving this completion rate could save $408m in economic resources in 2030.  Further, the report found that better employment outcomes through increased wage premiums could contribute an additional $2.7b per annum to the economy in 2030.

The productivity uplift from improving employment outcomes for university students and addressing the falling completion rates is estimated to be $3.1b per annum in 2030.

“The figures are a ‘blue sky’ projection of economic improvement if the mismatch between education and jobs could be fixed,” said Ms Friday. 

“Our study shows that the ability to align the skills of graduates with those needed in our workforce today and into the future will be important for the economy. The opportunities for the nation and graduates are immense if we can get it right.”

View full report

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Notes to Editors

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Melanie Kent
Ernst & Young Australia
+61 407 052 670