Investing in higher education would boost Australia’s economy more than tax cuts or pouring government money into industry. That’s the verdict of a KPMG report commissioned by Australia’s universities, who, let’s face it, stand to gain the most from such an investment.

The numbers look good. According to the report Australia’s average annual GDP could climb by an extra A$1.6 billion over the next ten years. Reaching an annual average of A$38 billion by the 2020s.

Those benefits depend on Australia’s federal government following the recommendations made in a higher education review (The Bradley Review). Bradley recommends spending A$6.5 billion on higher education over four years, then spending the OECD average of one percent of GDP in following years.

KPMG says while the cost is modest, the pay-off would be unusually large.

Last week’s Australian federal government budget spending commitment to higher education fell well short of the amount recommended.