NTEU media release: Higher education gets reprieve from major budget cuts but some students to pay more
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) is relieved to see that higher education has been spared any major funding cuts in tonight’s federal budget.
But the major outcome of the federal government’s base funding review, specifically an increase in overall public funding to universities, has yet to be realised.
“University staff will no doubt be relieved to see that funding increases through improved indexation have not been reversed in the budget, despite rumours to the contrary,” said Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President.
“Research funding, mooted as another possible area for cuts, has also been maintained at its current level.”
“In a tough budget year, the government has even managed to make good on the base funding review’s recommendations around social inclusion by increasing funding for equity measures by around $23 million over four years.”
“This is a welcome recognition of the increased pressure being placed on universities by the new demand driven system and the fact that some students need more help to get up to speed to succeed with their university studies.”
“The budget also contains over $30 million in measures to increase the effectiveness of maths and science teaching at universities.”
“The sting in the tail of these changes is current maths and science students will pay more in fees through the retrospective removal of all discounted HECS places, after having been originally exempted when these discounts were removed last year.
“NTEU is disappointed although not surprised to find that the main outcome of the federal government’s base funding review, specifically an increase in overall public funding to universities, has yet to be realized.”
“NTEU will continue to press hard for the government to address the recommendations of the funding review,” said Rea.
For more information and comment
Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President: 0434 609 531
Andrew Nette, NTEU Media Officer: 0431 217 131