In a statement to Pelican UWA responded to the proposed changes to higher education funding that were presented by the Minister for Education on 1 May 2017. The university’s full statement is as follows:
It is disappointing that Australian universities are once again facing budget cuts at a time when the nation needs greater innovation, creativity and skills.
There are fundamental difficulties with the current funding model with universities relying on the fee-paying international student market, and external support and philanthropy to help pay for domestic teaching and research. The Government’s funding package does not address these difficulties.
The proposed 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend will affect The University of Western Australia’s budget by around $8 million, negatively impacting our efforts to return to an underlying surplus.
We are concerned that the changes to the student contribution and the threshold at which they begin to repay their HELP Fee debt may discourage some students from attending university.
The main changes to higher education funding are: a 7.5% increase in student fees, a significantly lower income threshold for repaying HECS debt, and a 2.5% efficiency dividend that will save the government $2.8 billion over the next 4 years.
More information on the proposed changed can be found here.