Universities in Australia estimate they spend $A280 million per year on meeting red tape requirements like telling the federal government every time any academic travels overseas.
A submission by Universities Australia to a coalition deregulation taskforce calls for a comprehensive Productivity Commission review of the regulatory burden on tertiary institutions.
AAP reprots the sector also wants a single national university data centre to look after all information collection, as recommended in a government-commissioned report released last week.
"While we support the need for effective accountability, the existing regulatory and reporting regime is characterised by unchecked creep, duplication, fragmentation, inefficiency, and waste," Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said in a statement.
Most universities have between 15 - 20 staff whose sole job is to meet the regulatory requirements of 100 separate state and federal laws.
They have to report some 50 different sets of data to the federal tertiary education department multiple times each year, and another 50 types of data to different government agencies.