NTEU News | 17 December 2013
The changes to policy and funding announced in relation to higher education included in the Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Outlook (MYEFO) 2013-14 statements on 17 December result in net reduction of just over $200m in funding over the next four years.
A summary of the changes to higher education related funding which have been announced since the 2013-14 Federal Budget are shown in Table 1 below.
The largest cut relates to the cessation of the regional priorities round of the Education Investment Fund (EIF). While this will save the government $187.5m over the next three years and relates to monies that have yet to be allocated, it will reduce the capacity of regional universities and TAFE institutes to invest in much needed capital infrastructure.
The government has also reduced (redirected) funding to Australian Research Council (ARC) grants by $103m comprised of $61m reduction in Discovery grants and $42m in Linkage grants. This implements the government’s election commitment to redirect research funding away, from what Jamie Brigg’s described as wasteful research, to priority areas including diabetes and dementia. While the MYEFO papers describe the cut in these ARC grants as a redirection, they only show that $28m has been directed to clinical research into Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes.
ARC Centres of Research Excellence have had their funding cut by $10m and higher Education reward funding has been cut by $2.5m.
On the positive side, the government is committing $7.6m of new finding for the establishment of an Australia-Indonesia research centre. The Centre will be based at Monash University and will initially be a partnership with the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.