Is higher education being sacrificed for schools?
It seems as if higher education is Australia being put on the backburner following the government’s announcement in a change of funding within the education sector.
Education Minister Craig Emerson has said that around $2.3bn of funding would be taken away from higher education schemes and used to help implement the new reforms for schools across Australia.
The move, expected to kick in during 2014, would help save fees and reduce costs by around $900 annually.
One of the biggest changes from the funding revolves around when students need to pay back their $2000 start up fees. Within the shakeup, students will now be required to pay back the costs only when they are in full-time work and earning a certain yearly wage.
On top of that, the government will no longer give a 10% to any students who choose to pay all their scholarship fees upfront creating an equal playing field amongst all university students across the country.
Following additional cutbacks of $1 million made by the government last year, higher education has been one of the main areas that have suffered from the biggest cutbacks within the entire public sector.
However, Dr Emerson has defended the move saying that it was a necessary move to help keep Australia at the top of the global education pyramid. In an interview with The Australian, he said that “to have the best universities we have to have the best school classrooms, which is why the government is announcing savings measures today to ensure these vital school reforms can be funded.”
The cuts have seen Australia’s ranking drop tremendously against other advanced nations in terms of public spending on higher education having now been ranked 25th out of 29.
The move comes at a bad time for those working in the higher education where many lecturers and staff are lobbying for a 4% increase in their salaries.
With the school reforms being given the green light, it seems that the higher education industry will need to look into ways in maximising their resources if they are to try and improve their reputations further within the global community.
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