University Research Funds Threatened In Latest Budget Row

The Federal Government is apparently willing to slash University research funding if it doesn't get its way with regards to higher education reform.

Image: Andrea Schaffer

The Age reports that if Education Minister Christopher Pyne's reform package, which will deregulate University fees, cut course funding by an average 20 per cent and increase student loan interest, isn't passed by the Senate, then he's going to look into slashing research funding for Universities instead.

As it stands, the reform package appears doomed to fail, with Labor, The Greens and the Palmer Party all standing opposed to the changes which would require their approval. On the other hand, changing research funding would only require an appropriations bill which should pass through parliament unopposed.

The article quotes Group of Eight Universities chair Ian Young as stating that the prospect of research cuts would form a "doomsday scenario" for Australian higher education.

""As well as decimating research in this country it would put at risk our international market because world rankings are built on research. Research grants support our research infrastructure, our IT systems, laboratory technicians, PHD programs. This measure would hit research-intensive universities hard, rather than being spread across the entire sector."

[The Age]

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