Universities make a critical contribution to educating and training highly-skilled Victorians

Graduates play a critical role in meeting Victoria’s current and future needs for workers.

Victoria is home to some of the best universities in Australia.

Victoria's universities

Victoria is home to some of the best universities in Australia (The Age (2023), University of Melbourne sets new high in world rankings(opens in a new window), June).

In 2021, over 286,000 domestic students were enrolled in Victorian universities, including 204,633 undergraduate and 81,767 postgraduate students (Department of Education [Australian Government] Higher Education Statistics, All Student Data, 2021(opens in a new window)). This pipeline of graduates plays a critical role in meeting Victoria’s current and future needs for workers, such as highly-skilled workers in the clean economy (for example, energy efficiency engineers and carbon sector specialists) (Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (2023), Clean Economy Workforce Development Strategy 2023 to 2033(opens in a new window)).

Universities also generate vital research, support technology transfer and commercialisation, fuel the industries of the future, provide significant employment opportunities, and attract skilled migration and international investment to the state.

The Victorian Government recognises the vital role universities play in the economy by partnering with them to deliver government priorities including Victoria’s Big Build infrastructure projects such as the Suburban Rail Loop and the Metro Tunnel projects, and advanced manufacturing capability, such as the mRNA facility at Monash University.

The Australian Universities Accord presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between governments and key stakeholders to build a vision for Australia’s tertiary education sector that is more responsive and adaptable to the needs of the economy, learners and communities. The Australian Universities Accord interim report notes that an integrated tertiary system (where skills training and higher education sectors operate as one) is critical to achieve this vision.

Building advanced manufacturing capability

The Victorian Government and Monash University are establishing Australia’s first dedicated mRNA medicines manufacturing workforce training centre (Monash University (2023), Victoria to skill-up Asia Pacific’s future mRNA medicines manufacturing workforce(opens in a new window), March).

The Monash Centre for Advanced mRNA Medicines Manufacturing and Workforce Training will develop the skills and capabilities of the future specialist workforce required for Victoria and Australia’s mRNA vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing ecosystem.

The centre will draw on Monash’s pool of biotechnology talent and knowledge to deliver best-practice education and training programs across the mRNA medicines and pharmaceutical pipeline. It will also provide the education and training to support the specialist workforce needed for the new mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility currently being built on Monash’s Clayton campus by global biotechnology organisation Moderna.