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OECD reviews of higher education in regional and city development, State of Victoria, Australia

Puukka, J and Charles, David and Hazelkorn, E and Piacentini, M and Rushford, J (2010) OECD reviews of higher education in regional and city development, State of Victoria, Australia. [Report]

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Abstract

With more than 5.3 million inhabitants Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Once a manufacturing economy, Victoria is now transforming itself into a service and innovation-based economy. Currently, the largest sectors are education services and tourism. In terms of social structure, Victoria is characterised by a large migrant population, 24% of population were born overseas and 44% were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas. About 70% of the population resides in Melbourne. Victoria faces a number of challenges, ranging from an ageing population and skills shortages to drought and climate change and increased risk of natural disasters. Rapid population growth, 2% annually, has implications for service delivery and uneven development as well as regional disparities. There are barriers to connectivity in terms of transport and infrastructure, and a high degree of inter-institutional competition in tertiary education sector. The business structure in Victoria includes some highly innovative activities such as in biotechnology, but other sectors, especially those with high number of small and medium-sized enterprises, are lagging behind. Most of the larger manufacturing enterprises are externally controlled and there is uncertainty over the long term investments they will make in the state, as well as the place of Victoria in the global production networks.