Saturday, 5 August 2017

Birmingham set to rob universities

From the Age

Universities would be hit with $1.2 billion in funding cuts under the Turnbull government's higher education changes, with new data showing some institutions are set to lose up to $57 million over the next four years.

The figures, compiled by peak body Universities Australia, provide the first breakdown of how each university in the country would be affected over the budget forward estimates if the government's proposals pass the Senate.

NSW universities would lose $341 million in base funding between 2018 and 2021 while Victorian universities would lose $294 million.

The cuts would hit universities already in deficit and those with large numbers of disadvantaged students as well as the elite sandstone universities in Sydney and Melbourne.

The fate of the changes is hanging in the balance as Parliament resumes this week, with the Nick Xenophon Team yet to outline its position.( given its history he will cave in after generating some publicity for himself) 

Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said: "No university in Australia will escape the Liberals' unfair cuts.

"While Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals are giving tax breaks to big businesses and millionaires, they want want to cut uni funding, jack up student fees, and have lower income earners pay back HELP debts sooner.

"Their priorities are all wrong."

The elite Group of Eight universities have slammed the government's package as a "contradictory, incoherent mess" that would make students pay more for an inferior education.

Labor and the Greens have announced they will vote against the government's changes, meaning Senator Birmingham will have to win the support of 10 of the 12 Senate crossbenchers to pass them into law.

Fairfax Media has reported the government is prepared to significantly water down its plans if necessary to get some of the $2.8 billion in higher education savings through the Senate.

Victorian university funding cuts 2018-2021*

Monash University $57.4m

Deakin University $50.3m

University of Melbourne $46.5m

RMIT $44.3 m

La Trobe University $36.8 m

Swinburne University of Technology $26.8m

Victoria University $22m

Federation University $9.9m

Total = $294m

*Source: Universities Australia

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