My MP – 1377AM (Melbourne) My Melbourne 17/03/2015 09:13
Glenn Ridge 13:05 Andrew Powlay P.A.S.S.
Thomson represents a group of the 8 major universities in Australia and discusses the impact of the Federal Government’s higher education changes. She says it is a period of uncertainty for students and they are expecting a Senate vote on the reform in the next day or two. She says they are in favour of the Government’s current proposal because funding has not increased along with increased students. She notes the Government has taken away their threat to cut research funding and took a 20% cut to funding off the table. Thomson talks about proposals to chase students fees who travel overseas. She says it is not an insignificant problem but the cost of recovering those fees might not be worth the result. Thomson says international students are the backbone of the university sector and we’d be in a far worse situation for universities without them. She explains there have been discussions within the sector about how to better fund unis before the Abbott Government came in. Thomson says university funding will remain difficult if the legislation isn’t passed. She also talks about the importance of research within universities and the importance of university rankings.