I am proud that our Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National Report has revealed the strength of our university research sector. The report also shows the positive effect of the 18% increase in Federal funding for competitive grants – over $3.75 billion in the ERA 2012 reference period (2008–10 for income) and over $3.18 billion in the ERA 2010 reference period (2006–08).
Importantly, the 2012 evaluation shows that this investment is predominantly, and increasingly, in areas that are rated world class or better, and the overall standard of the ratings is improving. These areas of world-beating activity exist throughout the university sector. They are not just the prerogative of the Group of Eight leading universities – the field as a whole is strong.
”We need to make sure that we are not spreading our money too thinly. We have to look at priorities and focus on areas that are of particular importance to Australia and the world,” he said.
”The real issue is given that research support has been rationed, we can’t fund everything that people would like to do.”