What Will Students Expect From This Budget?

Students can expect to be abandoned by the governments 2015-16 federal budget.

The federal budget handed down on Tuesday the 12th of May is a continuation of the 2014 budget which would see a reckless and short sighted agenda for higher education in Australia.

After being rejected by the senate in 2015 and again in 2015 the Governments 2014 budget measures to deregulate university fees, lower the government contribution per students and cut funding to research have be re-introduced.

On top of this young people under 25 will have to wait for 4 weeks to revise Newstart and youth allowance benefits and the eligibility for Newstart will be raised from 22 to 25 and major cuts to research have been made.

No real funding to universities has been introduced to improve the quality of teaching, learning and research which the entire sector are screaming out for.

NUS has long called an increase to income support which has been completely ignored in this budget.

See more in our media release here

On higher education:

  • Continuing to push agenda to deregulate undergraduate university fees
  • Lowering level of commonwealth funding per students for CSPs (20% funding cuts)
  • Extending funding to non-university private providers to have CSP to unregulated number of enrolments
  • Postgraduate research cuts to the RTS research training schemes will be cut by the same measure form the previous budget around 10%

New:

  • Chasing overseas graduate help debts
  • Cuts to Sustainable Research Excellence fund (SRE) by 263 million
  • Funding National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme (NCRIS) for only 1 more year (through SRE cuts)
  • Cutting funding to HEPPP by 5 million after 51mill of HEPP cuts in 2014 budget
  • Closure of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Higher Education Advisory Committee
  • Closure of Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT)

On welfare:

  • Claimants on Newstart, youth allowance and special benefits under 25 will be subject to a 4 week waiting period
  • Raising age of eligibility from 22 to 25 for Newstart See our media release here

See our budget brief here

Polling by Australia Needs A Brighter Future gives us a clear view that Australians disagree with deregulation and cuts to public funding for education.

Highlights:

80% think that deregulating university fees will lead to greater inequality between Australian universities and create an American-style Ivy League system. 69% agree that increasing uni fees will reduce our skilled workforce and weaken our ability to handle changes in the global economy.

77% think that deregulating universities will mean Australian families have to take on unreasonable debt if they want their children to go to university.

73% of Australians believe there should be an increase to funding to universities.

Find the full report here

The Australia Needs a Brighter Future campaign is a nationwide coalition of student organisations. The coalition is united against higher education fee deregulation, and defending Australia’s standing as the clever country. More information at: www.brighterfutureaustralia.com.au