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HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCES DEVOTED TO RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT (R&D)
Subsequent expenditure figures and supporting commentary relate to current price terms.
HERD AND GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)
HERD as a proportion of GDP decreased from 0.63% in 2014 to 0.62% in 2016.
(a) See Explanatory notes for details.
HIGHER EDUCATION EXPENDITURE ON R&D (HERD)
TYPE OF EXPENDITURE
In 2016, HERD included $10,129 million (93%) in Current expenditure and $748 million (7%) in Capital expenditure. Compared with 2014, Current expenditure increased $816 million (9%), whilst Capital expenditure decreased $84 million (10%).
The largest component of HERD in 2016 was Labour costs which totalled $4,775 million (44% of HERD). This was followed by Other current expenditure which totalled $4,556 million (42% of HERD). Compared with 2014, Labour costs recorded the largest dollar increase, up $466 million (11%), followed by Other current expenditure which increased $290 million (7%).
SOURCE OF FUNDS
The two main sources of funds for HERD in 2016 were General university funds ($6,075 million or 56% of HERD) and Australian competitive grants ($1,673 million or 15% of HERD). These were also the major sources of funds in 2014.
Compared with 2014, General university funds recorded the largest dollar increase, up $610 million (11%) in 2016.
Two sources of funds experienced decreases from 2014. Australian competitive grants register decreased by $159 million (9%), whilst Other commonwealth government funding decreased by $4 million (0.3%).
In 2016, higher education institutions based in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland made up just over three quarters (76%) of HERD (at $3,226 million, $3,142 million and $1,918 million, respectively). Refer to Explanatory Notes for further information regarding the location of R&D expenditure.
Compared with 2014, Victoria recorded the largest dollar increase in HERD, up $322 million (11%). South Australia was the only location to experience a decrease, down $17 million (2%).
HERD AND GROSS STATE PRODUCT (GSP)
In 2016, the Australian Capital Territory had the largest decrease in HERD as a proportion of GSP (0.10%).
TYPE OF ACTIVITY
In 2016, 49% of HERD ($5,280 million) was directed towards Applied research, 23% ($2,478 million) to Pure basic research and 19% ($2,019 million) to Strategic basic research. The remaining 10% ($1,101 million) was directed towards Experimental development. The distribution of HERD across type of activity was largely unchanged from 2014.
Compared with 2014, Applied research had the largest dollar increase, up $339 million (7%).
FIELDS OF RESEARCH (FOR)
Almost a third of HERD was devoted to the Medical and Health Sciences FOR ($3,087 million or 28%) in 2016. In total, the fields of Medical and Health Sciences, Engineering, Biological Sciences and Studies in Human Society made up just over half (53%) of total HERD (at $3,087 million, $1,115 million, $1,021 million and $497 million, respectively). These top four FOR, in terms of expenditure, remained consistent between 2014 and 2016.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC OBJECTIVE (SEO)
In 2016, a third of the HERD was directed to the SEO of Health ($3,705 million or 34%). The next most prevalent SEO was Expanding Knowledge ($1,638 million or 15%) which was less than half the expenditure of Health. The distribution of HERD across SEO remained consistent between 2014 and 2016.
Health had the largest dollar increase between 2014 and 2016, up $339 million (10%). This was followed by Expanding Knowledge, up $75 million (5%) from 2014.
HIGHER EDUCATION HUMAN RESOURCES DEVOTED TO R&D
TYPE OF RESOURCE
Australian higher education institutions devoted a total of 79,008 person years of effort (PYE) to R&D in 2016. This was an increase of 969 PYE (1%) from 2014. More than half of the human resources devoted to R&D in 2016 were Postgraduate students (57%) with the remainder being Academic staff (30%) and Other staff supporting R&D (12%). New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland accounted for three quarters (76%) of total human resources devoted to R&D in 2016.
Across all states, the profile of Higher Education Human resources devoted to R&D shows a similar pattern, with Postgraduate students representing the largest proportion of PYE, followed by Academic staff then Other staff.
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