As the mining boom comes to an end, Australia is frantically searching for a new sector to prop up its economy, with STEM-based knowledge industries picked out by policy makers as the most-likely candidate.
However, minimal growth in tertiary participation over the past decade, coupled with low completion rates, means IT employers in particular say they are struggling to fill vacant positions.
The situation is made worse by a mismatch in the skills employers are seeking and those students are graduating with.
It's a systemic problem the CIOs of Australia's universities are grappling with on a daily basis.
They argue there are no role models to excite prospective STEM students, little public celebration of STEM success stories, and a lack of jobs awaiting graduates at the end of their degree.