For most students, university is primarily about finding a
job after graduating, and this is fair enough. After all, the premise of spending
significant time and money on earning a degree is that you can pursue a career
that would otherwise be unavailable to you, or at the very least, far more
difficult to attain.
However, becoming employable isn’t the only positive of a
tertiary education. The benefits of universities are far-reaching and impact on
various sectors within society, including technology, the health industry and
Universities are at the forefront of technological
innovation, with research departments constantly publishing academic findings
on a vast variety of topics. Despite being a relatively young country,
Australia has an impressive track record when it comes to converting research
into tangible outcomes.
Among the most notable home-grown concepts are wi-fi,
developed by John O’Sullivan and his colleagues in 1992 in collaboration with
the CSIRO; and the Cochlear Implant, a bionic ear that assists the hearing-impaired,
spearheaded by Graeme Clark at the University of Melbourne.
Finding cures for disease is a major area of research at
university level. Just think about how many charities are dedicated to raising
money for specific illnesses and ailments. Australia has offered various
solutions, including spray-on skin for burn victims, Gardasil and Cervarix
vaccines to treat human papillomavirus (HPV), and the invention of the
Perhaps the most significant contribution was the use of
penicillin as medicine. Working alongside a team of UK researchers, Australian
Howard Florey reshaped the medical industry forever when he discovered how to
purify penicillin, so it could combat bacterial infections in people.
The influx of international students into Australian
universities contributed an unprecedented $24 billion to the local economy in
2017. As the country’s third largest export sector, international education is
hugely influential and doesn’t appear likely to decline any time soon.
This healthy thirst for the tertiary education has a
positive impact on the university sector, boosting financial profiles of
institutions and allowing them to spend more money on resources, development