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The Regional Universities Network (RUN) engaged the Nous Group to undertake analysis on the effects of the RUN on jobs and productivity in regional Australia. This short report presents these results, which demonstrate the capacity of the RUN to educate and place graduates in jobs in regional areas of Australia: Around 7 out of 10 RUN graduates will go on to work in a regional area, compared to about 2 out of 10 graduates nationally. With a current Senate Inquiry under way into the indicators of regional inequality, and reference to building human capital in regional Australia, these findings are of national relevance.

Established in October 2011, the Regional Universities Network (RUN) is a network of six universities based in regional Australia. Its members are: CQUniversity (CQU); Southern Cross University (SCU); Federation University Australia (FedUni); the University of New England (UNE); the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). RUN universities operate in over 60 locations, and have a total revenue exceeding $1.7b, and employ over 6,000 FTE of staff.

Individually, RUN member universities play an important role delivering higher education to around 115,000 higher education students each year – about 9% of all university students nationally. Two of RUN’s members, CQU and FedUni are dual sector providers, but this study has only focussed on the contribution of higher education. The member universities of the RUN contribute to the supply of labour and growth for their regions, and regional Australia in general, by training skilled graduates.

Through this effect and others, member universities contribute to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of regional Australia. RUN member universities not only produce, attract and retain a broad range of skilled professionals in regional areas, but also conduct research and train over 2,600 higher degree by research candidates each year.

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