Minister for Education and Training

Senator for South Australia


Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science



4 November 2016

Action to improve Australia’s research training system

The Turnbull Government has accepted all six recommendations made by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) to improve Australia’s research training system.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt said the review found improvements should be made to ensure Australia’s research training system remains internationally competitive.

“While Australia’s research training system performs well in training future academic researchers and supporting academic outputs, the review found aspects that could be improved,” Minister Birmingham said.

“It’s important for our students, our universities and our economy that Australia’s higher degree by research training models are amongst the best in the world.

“We need more flexible regulatory and funding arrangements and more researchers collaborating with industry during their training.”

Minister Hunt said the 10-month review assessed the system’s capacity for learned inquiry, innovation and productivity. It also canvassed ways research graduates could work with industry to bring their ideas to market.

“We have already changed the research block grants to give universities more autonomy around their higher degree by research student scholarships,” Mr Hunt said.

“Universities now have incentives to partner with industry to commercialise research and there is more weighting for completions, including Indigenous student completions.”

Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government had already responded to a number of the review’s recommendations through recent policy commitments and initiatives.

“In particular, the Turnbull Government has committed $28.2 million to expand the PhD internships program run by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute to a national scale program,” Minister Birmingham said.

The review’s findings and recommendations align with the objectives work being done through the National Innovation and Science Agenda and the recommendations of the Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements.

A working group, including representatives from the university sector, industry and community stakeholders, is being established to implement the review’s findings.

More details at:

Minister Birmingham’s media contact:                         Nick Creevey 0447 644 957

Minister Hunt’s media contact:                                     John O’Doherty 0402 047 852


  Nick Creevey | Assistant Media Adviser


Senator for South Australia | Minister for Education and Training

Suite MG.61, Parliament House, CANBERRA ACT 2600

T: 02 6277 7011 | M: 0447 644 957 | E: [email protected]

Media Release 4 August 2016 – Careers Boom for Mathematical Sciences
As many question the value of university degrees, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s (AMSI) new careers website, Maths Adds, shows demand for mathematical and statistical skills is growing.


An expansion of the popular print version now in its 19th edition, the site features over 100 examples from recent job ads illustrating mathematical and statistical career pathways. Showcasing how the discipline can open doors to future success, the portal aims to assist students making decisions about subjects going into Year 11 and 12 and higher education study.


AMSI Director Professor Geoff Prince says the sheer volume of ads and breadth of sectors featured confirms demand is high for science, technology, engineering and mathematical skills (STEM).


“This site confirms mathematics and statistics skills have enormous currency in today’s job market. Demand is only increasing with already over 75 per cent of high-growth areas demanding skills such as mathematics and statistics,” he said.


The site is part of the institute’s growing resources to empower Australians to pursue mathematics. Despite the mathematical sciences being worth approximately $145 billion annually to the Australian economy, the number of Australian students pursing the discipline is in decline.


“Year 12 enrolments in high-level maths have almost halved since 2005. This is fuelled by a combination of factors including the need for industry to better communicate how they employ skills such as mathematics,” says AMSI Director, Professor Geoff Prince.


Professor Prince believes many people will be surprised at how varied and creative mathematical careers can be.


“When people think of mathematics they often call up the ‘A Beautiful Mind’ stereotype of greying men with white boards and formulas. Maths is used across every sector and discipline from the arts to IT and engineering to climate and environment and even medicine, the possibilities are endless.”


Students, teachers and parents are invited to search the Maths Adds site for a small taste of what is possible with mathematics and statistics.


Access Maths Adds digital or pdf.


Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox:

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons