Friday, 1 March 2013

NBN: And the National Economic Agenda

Universities Australia, the peak body of Australian Universities, released a campaign where they want University education to be at the heart of a transformation of the economy. More than a simple extension of "Knowledge Nation", A Smarter Australia lays a succinct blueprint for the economic challenges currently facing Australia.

The NBN, providing affordable, universal high-speed access lies at the heart of both this Educational and Economic transformation. To quote Bill Clinton, "It's the Economy, stupid", something the Liberal Party is doggedly overlooking.

There's a Business Maxim, "You can't cut your way to market share & dominance". When you garnered a large market share, you can afford to "cut the waste". When the challenge is "build market share and transform the business", the current challenge to Brand Australia, focussing on cuts and belt-tightening is exactly wrong: what's needed is bold new initiatives and investment.

Does anyone seriously think that Fairfax can resolve its current issues by paring down its costs base further?
Their problems are on the other side of the ledger: they need to focus on increasing revenues, and that requires new products and entering new markets. They have to invest in transform or go under.

I post that Australia in 2013 is Fairfax in 2000. Our brand and economy are going well, though we've had some recent setbacks, but we've had those before, haven't we?

We can emulate the Board of Fairfax and ignore the heavy seas and changing weather and order "steady as she goes" or listen to those saying "things are different, we need to completely change course".

This is what Universities Australia layout as the current challenges to the Australian Economy.
I think it's an excellent summation of how the world has changed around us. Of course, their product is part of the solution, but not the whole solution.
A Smarter Australia responds to four trends that are driving change in Australian higher education:
  • the emergence of the digital economy and new technology;
  • increasing globalisation and the possibilities of the Asian century;
  • economic and industrial restructuring as the nation responds to the resources boom; and
  • the need to improve productivity with universities central to the national innovation effort. 

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