Benchmarking Australian science, technology, engineering & mathematics

Universities Research Science STEM education Australia

When compared with 11 Western European countries, the United States and Canada, Australia performs well in the share of the world’s top 1 per cent of cited research papers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).


In March 2014 the Office of the Chief Scientist initiated a benchmarking report on Australian science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The results detailed in the report were developed to provide the following:

  • a broad evidence base to guide government and public discourse on Australian STEM
  • a baseline for monitoring any impacts of future changes in STEM focus or strategy
  • a foundation for further analysis and future benchmarking studies of Australian STEM.

What follows is a comprehensive assessment of Australian STEM by benchmarking wherever possible with STEM in countries with similar governance systems and economic characteristics, as well as those with a rapidly rising STEM capability in the Asia–Pacific region.

The report examines the characteristics and outputs of Australian STEM based on indicators that allow international comparability. The main elements considered are research outputs in STEM, funding for STEM research and development, international collaboration in STEM research, Australia’s STEM workforce, and STEM education in schools and higher education institutions.

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