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Labor denies university staff cut crisis: votes against funding increase

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 23 Nov 2011

The major parties have shown themselves to be disinterested in stemming university staff cuts by voting down a Greens motion that calls for an increase in public funding by 10 percent for government supported university students, said Greens Senator for NSW and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon (motion below).

“The government is turning its back on university staff and students. Without extra funding there is a strong risk that the quality of teaching will suffer,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“The Greens motion called for little more than an honouring of recommendations of the independent Bradley review, at an estimated cost of $500 million.

“The Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans has responded to news of widespread job cuts by painting a picture of a sector flush with funds.

“This is an insult to the teachers and staff at universities who have for decades done more with less.

“Universities Australia’s research shows a surplus of just $680 million last year, not the $1.95 billion bandied around by the Minister.

“It is no illusion that universities are moving to cut staff right across the nation.

“Universities provide a key to equality and a prosperous future for all Australians.

“Starving our universities of proper funding is a bankrupt step that will see the quality of tertiary education suffer,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Read the motion here.

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