Universities Australia | 17 October 2012
Universities Australia has expressed its concern about the impact that the Commonwealth government’s freeze on grant programs is having on the ability of universities to plan and invest in critical research and teaching programs – and about the growing uncertainty around funding parameters.
With billions of dollars of funding on hold as the Government seeks to find savings for its Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), universities are not only worried about the immediate outcome but about the lack of long-term funding certainty which undermines future planning. According to o Universities Australia chief executive, Belinda Robinson:
This short-term, stop-go approach to funding and public investment decisions is becoming an increasingly alarming feature of the modern budget process and is seriously eroding confidence in the policy-making process.
Clearly universities are worried about this particular MYEFO process, but there is a deeper issue around the recent and concerning trend towards ever diminishing budget certainty. Unfortunately, forward estimates are becoming progressively meaningless and funding predictability a thing of the past.
We are now at the point where not only is everything up for grabs once a year through the budget process, but every six months through MYEFO.