“The government has acted responsibly and in the nation’s interest by increasing funding for teaching and learning with improved indexation from 2012, which will ensure teaching quality is maintained and enhanced,” Universities Australia Chief Executive, Dr Glenn Withers said.
“The announcement of major university infrastructure projects worth $934 million, funded through the Education Investment Fund (EIF) will not only help universities grow their capacity, but will provide current and long term stimulus in the form of jobs for the economic recovery of the nation,” Dr Withers said.
“Higher education and research will benefit greatly from the outcome of the March 2009 ‘bonus round’ of the EIF. The sector looks forward to submitting many more worthy education, research and green infrastructure projects to further contribute to productivity and sustainable growth in the next rounds of the EIF later in 2009.
“Lowering the age of independence progressively from 25 years to 22, and ensuring student support can be claimed by more of those students who are truly in need is commendable, and something Universities Australia has been advocating for many years.
“Student support is all the more important in our current economic circumstances and will help build opportunities and participation for all Australians. Increased support for postgraduate students is also welcome.
“Moves towards full funding of research are commended, although in the short term cross-subsidisation will still be necessary.
“Funding higher education teaching and research is part of the formula for a sustainable outcome for the nation’s economy and more. These Budget measures will help fund the Government’s targets to increase participation in higher education to 40% of the population by 2025, and to 20% for people from lower socio-economic groups by 2020,” Dr Withers said.