The Budget in their own words: National Tertiary Education Union

12 May 2015

nteu-logo

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

quote marksDespite more than three quarters of Australians opposing deregulation, and the Senate rejecting their plans for $100,000 degrees twice, the Abbott Government has kept its plans for university deregulation in this year’s budget..

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

 

These plans include the full deregulation of tuition fees and a 20 per cent cut in funding effective 1 January 2016.

“The government is undermining our public university system by extending public funding to private providers,” explained Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President.

“This is something that staff, students and the public overwhelmingly reject. Yet the government is arrogantly pushing ahead,” said Rea.

Christopher Pyne’s surprise fix has turned out not to be a surprise at all with the NCRIS funded through $150m in cuts to the Sustainable Research Excellence initiative (SRE).

“Over $800m has already been cut from research, and now even more is being ripped away,” said Rea.

“The SRE funds the indirect costs of research and is crucial to maintaining the university research workforce.

“With award-winning Australian researchers already looking overseas for work, it’s not hard to imagine the impact of cuts like these,” said Rea.

Rea explained that funding for the NCRIS was included in last year’s budget, and passed, but was withheld by Minister Pyne in an attempt to force his deregulation bill through the Senate.

“While we welcome NCRIS researchers having their jobs and projects protected for another year, this behaviour shows that we cannot let our guard down when it comes to this government properly funding research.

The budget also confirmed the destruction of the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council (ATSIHEAC).

“Bodies like ATSIHEAC and the OLT are an important way of contributing expert and independent advice to the government on higher education policy. The OLT provides a grants system that recognises great university teachers.

“This is a pure case of robbing Peter to pay Paul with $5m in funding for AIATSIS coming from HEPP, a program set up to support underprivileged students to go to university. Many of these students include those from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

“These bodies cost very little to operate. The only conclusion we can draw is that this is about silencing alternative views in the higher education sector, and hiding future cuts from meaningful scrutiny.

“It seems this is part of a broader plan to cut jobs under the guise of structural reform.

Rea said that no one should be fooled by claims that this budget is different to last year’s.

“It’s just more of the same from this government who are focussed on looking after the rich end of town at the expense of poorer people who are working hard to get ahead,” Rea concluded.

 

Advertisements

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

%d bloggers like this: