The new places and research measures in the 2020 Budget and the expected passage of the Job-Ready Graduates (JRG) Bill will give universities certainty going forward during challenging times.
The Chair of the Regional Universities Network (RUN), Professor Helen Bartlett, said that the additional $550.3 million for new places and additional $1 billion for research in the budget would make a real difference.
“The Government has made a welcome new commitment to the university sector,” Professor Bartlett said.
“The $550.3 million for additional university places and short courses will boost the ability of regional universities to provide more course offerings in the regions, including for those who want to upskill or change direction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The new research funding in the research block grant will help regional universities expand world class research capacity in areas such as health, agriculture, environmental studies and engineering. Investment in research in the regions generates jobs and economic growth,” Professor Bartlett said.
“The Strategic University Reform Fund of $40 million has the potential to fund further innovation in the regions where more support is needed for universities to partner with industry during these difficult times.
“RUN welcomes Centre Alliance support for the JRG Bill. Passage of the legislation will give universities and students certainty, fund the much-needed growth in places during a time of strong demand, restore indexation and assist equity and the participation of regional students in higher education,” Professor Bartlett said.
“We thank the Minister for Education and the Government for their support for regional universities, students and their communities.”