0042 Universities Australia

General information

Submitterʼs name
Universities Australia
Submitted on behalf of
Professional body or industry association

About the submission

Please select the industry your submission is in relation to. If required, you may select multiple industries.
Education and Training
Professional, Scientific and Technical
Please identify which occupations your submission relates to:
Specific occupations (eg Chief Executive or Managing Director)
Please choose all occupations to which your submission relates.
111111 Chief Executive or Managing Director
132511 Research and Development Manager
134411 Faculty Head
234411 Geologist
234412 Geophysicist
234511 Life Scientist (General)
234599 Life Scientists nec
234914 Physicist
242111 University Lecturer
272411 Historian


1. Are there additional labour market factors, for which there are national datasets available (ideally aligned to 6-digit ANZSCO occupation level), that are relevant to future refinements to the Departmentʼs analysis and methodology?

What is the frequency of data release?

The demand for knowledge workers to support Australia's academic enterprise is driven by non -measurable factors that are influenced by a range of domestic and international issues. Australia competes for academic talent in a global labour market in a highly competitive system. The needs of Australia's universities are not only driven by the need for trained professionals, but by the need for suitably qualified staff to train those professionals and for a critical mass of academics who skills align with an ever increasing set of research priorities. All of the above take place within a context of an ageing academic workforce and an uncertain funding environment.

2. The Department is also seeking submissions on suitable datasets that are disaggregated by region. Please provide details if you are aware of such a dataset, including whether it is aligned to ANZSCO occupations and how often the dataset is updated.

There are problems associated with the very different economic conditions across regions – for example when WA was experiencing boom conditions and the east coast was not. So, in producing occupational priorities there is inadequate spatial nuance and this has a direct impact on employers and local economies. This is not easily resolvable without going to a much more expensive methodology, but bespoke datasets and new spatial modelling techniques might be useful.

3. Is there any other advice or evidence that the Department should consider in its review of the methodology?

Predicting future work force needs in the university sector has been attempted but with very little success. Unlike many traditional industries the academic workforce is constantly evolving to keep pace with ongoing changes in technology and the need to address issues of ever-increasing complexity and scale.

A number of independent studies have been carried out that attempt to address the issue of whether there will be sufficient suitably qualified academic staff to teach courses to prepare future professionals, and to meet universities’ future educational and research needs. These studies have been based on higher education staff data collected by the Department of Education on an annual basis and which includes information on the numbers and full-time equivalence (FTE) of staff employed by Table A (public universities) and Table B providers.

We would suggest an approach to reviewing the lists which takes into account those occupations where quantifying the absolute need for a specific occupation is impossible and where metrics may not provide an accurate representation of future workforce needs. Such an approach may include the use of international benchmarks to demonstrate the contribution foreign knowledge workers make to the academic enterprise in countries against whom we compete for academic talent.
Do you have any supporting material for your submission?
Yes (see attachments)

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Last modified on Friday 10 November 2017 [39021|92391]