Advertisements

V-Cs urge modified reform package

The Australian    |    26 August 2014

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

ReformVice-chancellors have converged on Canberra to lobby education minister Christopher Pyne to push ahead with plans to deregulate tuition fees but with amendments to the whole reform package, including a rethink of proposals to impose sharply higher interest rates on student loans.

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

The vice-chancellors have also reacted strongly to the suggestion that the government might grab savings from university research budgets if it does not get its reforms through the Senate.

Glyn Davis, head of Melbourne University, described as “chilling” Pyne’s refusal to rule out cuts to research budgets.

That would be more devastating than any other one action: devastating to Australia’s reputation internationally, to our scientific workforce, to medical research.  It would be an extraordinary decision.

Fred Hilmer, vice-chancellor of the University of NSW, said:

Given that the reforms were supposed to revitalise the sector, cutting funding for research would be a perverse outcome. It would end up crippling it.

The University of Sydney’s ¬Michael Spence also condemned any plan to cut research funding. He said he would also be urging Pyne to kill his plan to charge PhD students an annual fee, and arguing for a delay in the extension of teaching subsidies to private colleges:

If we delay the onset of the commonwealth grant scheme to private providers, then Mr Pyne will only have to pass on 14% in funding cuts, not 20 % as planned — and he’ll have an easier time selling this to the crossbenchers.

Vice-chancellors are also increasing the pressure on the opposition to break what could be a costly deadlock.

Advertisements

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

%d bloggers like this: