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Go8 Media Release: Group of Eight welcomes Government’s Budget circuit breaker

The Group of Eight Universities (Go8) is pleased the Government has “hit the reset button” of Higher Education reforms with its Budget Options Paper “Driving Innovation Fairness and Excellence in Australian Higher Education”.

“The Go8 called for this circuit breaker just over a year ago and the Government has now moved to reopen consultation,” says Dr Michael Spence Chair of the Go8.“As we now work through the options presented to us the sector at least has a stop-gap of badly-needed short term funding certainty.”

Dr Spence said the Options Paper was a welcome step forward. “However, it has some very heavy lifting to perform and we take it in good faith that the Government is determined to find a sustainable future for Australia’s world-class universities’ he said. “By 2018 when the agreed way forward is to have been legislated, the sector will need to have secured long-term adequate funding. It is important to note that the 20 per cent funding cuts that the sector has no way of managing remain on the table.”

“Universities are critical to Australia’s innovation based future economy so it’s surprising that the government should remain committed to 2.5 billion of cuts from the University sector just at the time that they have expressed commitment to innovation. “We will need to have our distorted funding model addressed so that both teaching and research are supported as universities produce the discoveries and the skilled graduates that we need.”

Media contact: Go8 Chief Executive Vicki Thomson 0417 808 472

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