Australia’s leading universities have welcomed a commitment by the Federal Opposition to oppose further funding cuts to universities and increases to student fees saying it demonstrates a strong recognition of the integral value of universities and our students to the nation.
The Group of Eight (Go8), which represents Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, with six of its members ranked in the world’s top 100, say this week’s Federal budget is a demonstrable negative for higher education with the university sector the big target.
“Our sector has been the target of successive funding cuts since 2011 so it is therefore very pleasing that the ALP has indicated they will reject this latest round of funding cuts to universities,” said Vicki Thomson, Chief Executive of the Go8.
“This Government’s legislation now goes before a Senate Committee and we would urge the Committee to please look closely at what has occurred as we are made to suffer financially with no capacity to claw back the financial damage,” said Ms Thomson.
“We need the Senate Committee to analyse what has happened in context; to understand the ramifications of this within Australia for our domestic students and our research effort, and the negative message it sends to our overseas markets of international students.
“We have now reached a tipping point. It remains the fact that we receive less than half of our university funding from Government and this has forced us to be heavily reliant on alternative sources of income to fund the nation building research we must undertake.
“In that context, and on top of the $3.9 billion in cuts we have suffered since 2011, our sector has surely done our fair share of the heavy lifting for Budget repair.”
Contact: Vicki Thomson Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472