Advertisements

ATN: students to bear the cost of tough higher education budget

14 May 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Australia’s future university students, who will form the backbone of a skilled national economy, are the big losers in the Federal Budget according to the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….……

ATN logo

ATN Executive Director, Vicki Thomson said whilst the Government has confirmed its commitment to ensuring access for all students who qualify to attend an Australian university the cost of that reform will be borne by the very students they hope to attract.

“The ATN is a strong advocate of the demand driven system as a significant reform measure and its continuation is welcome, however the sting in the tail is the impact upon our future students.

“Those students face a triple impost – an increase in the share they will pay for their education from 41% to 52%, a lowering of the repayment threshold, and higher interest on their debt levels. It remains to be seen if this will act as a deterrent to students.

“This budget has highlighted the dilemma for government, which has chosen to shift a greater proportion of costs to students to maintain our international reputation for quality higher education and research.”

As expected the Government has announced its intention to deregulate student fees.

“This will require significant consultation to ensure a balance in outcomes for government, students and universities. “

Ms Thomson says that recognition of university research provided a glimmer of light in an overall tough love Budget.

“The government’s commitment to the longevity of the Future Fellowship program will underpin Australia’s long term research effort and is welcome. We also strongly support the landmark $20 billion medical research future fund but there remains a need for a more balanced national research investment strategy.

“This will be critical in an environment where the Australian Research Council has had a significant proportion of its funding redirected to medical research coupled with a 3.25 percent efficiency dividend,” Ms Thomson said.

Advertisements

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: