Group of Eight (Go8) Chief Executive Vicki Thomson warns that the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings that has all Go8 members ranked in the world’s top 150 universities, has been achieved in spite of increasing financial duress.
“The fact that THE Editorial Director of Global Rankings Phil Baty has also issued an independent public warning of the parlous future facing Australian universities, should surely have the Government reassess the further funding cuts it intends to take to the Senate as early as next week,” she said.
Ms Thomson said the THE warning to Australia was the equivalent of a Moody’s ratings agency warning and one that Australia could ignore at its peril. “If the Government has any conscience at all about how it plans to further damage the future of Australia’s university students and the nation’s third largest export sector, or , has any Budget integrity left, it would withdraw this current legislative package,” she said.
THE has stated (as part of a statement issued globally) ) that: “It is good news that Australia’s universities have held steady in this year’s table but funding cuts proposed by the government could seriously harm the country’s institutions in future editions of the rankings. The data also show that Australia’s leading institutions are already falling behind peers in mainland China and Hong Kong, which receive high and sustained levels of state funding. Australia must ensure that it continues to invest in its universities and remains a welcoming place for international students and staff if it wants to remain a key global player in higher education.”
“It would be hard to find a clearer independent warning,” said Ms Thomson. “Our universities cannot continue to deliver against the financial odds and we are now facing funding cuts, the most severe in 20 years, that affect our students directly and through our budgets the education we can provide for them.”
Media contact : Vicki Thomson Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472