Budget night blows for higher education: NTEU

The Morrison Government has dealt further blows to Australia’s 4th largest export industry in this year’s Budget, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) said today.

“The Government has ceased the emergency research funding provided in last year’s Budget. It has also acknowledged that its Jobs Ready Graduates package passed by Parliament last year will in reality result in a funding cut to the sector of 9.3% over the next three years, despite its claims to the contrary at the time,” said Dr. Alison Barnes, NTEU National President.

“While the private higher education providers will welcome the additional public funding, the Government is hanging university workers and Australia’s future out to dry.”

“If this Government was serious about wanting to invest in skills, education, and training to tackle unemployment, it would invest more in higher education than just 5,000 short course places.”

“Instead, there’s a pittance in this Budget for higher education, from a Government which has abandoned Australian university workers and students.”

“Where is the rescue package for higher education, our 4th largest export sector which has lost over 17,300 jobs and thousands of courses after being locked out of JobKeeper? Where is the pathway for the return of international students?”

“This is a big-spending Budget that ignores the nation’s brains trust. Once again the Government has turned its back on higher education staff, students and school leavers.”

“Higher education is a smart, triple-dividend investment: it employs more than a quarter of a million workers, it educates the next generation of workers and it drives the research and innovation to power our economy.”

The NTEU is calling for a continuation of last year’s $1b injection into research funding, and a commitment to recurrent funding of at least 1% of GDP to protect the sector in the wake of COVID-19.

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