More funds, drop fee changes: Unis say

AUSTRALIA'S universities have urged the Turnbull Government look at putting more funding into higher education and dropping plans - already put on hold - to deregulate fees.

Universities Australia chairman Barney Glover on Wednesday called for an end to the "intolerable" uncertainty the sector has faced since fee deregulation was mooted.

While Education Minister Simon Birmingham has put Christopher Pyne's original plans on hold for at least a year, fee deregulation is unlikely to pass a Senate overwhelmingly opposed to the idea.

Mr Glover said universities were still in limbo after the botched deregulation plans failed to pass the Senate.

In a speech to the National Press Club, he set about rebuilding the case for more public funding for research and new plans to ensure more students could start a degree.

Mr Glover released Deloitte research showing the sector added about $140 billion to economy last year, using the data to underline the case for more government funds.

While Senator Birmingham has said he was open to any ideas to improve the university system, as part of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's promised "innovation" agenda.

The government has not yet released any new policy on what changes may be afoot.

Mr Glover urged a new "innovation board" be created and tax concession for businesses funding university research.

Topics:  deregulation higher education university

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