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Labor votes with Coalition to block Greens Senate motion calling for increase to university funding

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 10 Dec 2013

Labor has failed to support a Greens Senate motion calling for a boost to university base funding by 10 per cent to improve the quality of higher education.

Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said “Getting support for our call to stop the Coalition from ripping $900 million out of Australian universities and increasing student debt by $1.2 billion, was an important first step.

“The Greens are now moving onto the second phase of our higher education campaign to ensure hard-working university staff have the required resources to engage in quality teaching and research.

“If Labor is truly committed to higher education they need to stand with the Greens and invest in the future of young people and start reversing this chronic underfunding to universities that should never have been allowed to occur.

“The former Labor government commissioned Bradley Review proposed a 10 per cent increase in base funding of universities to maintain standards at their current level. 

“Until we see this 10 per cent increase to base funding,  there will be increasing pressure on universities, academics and students, with larger classes, fewer contact hours for research and less course choices.

“Australia is the only OECD country where the public contribution to higher education was at the same level in 2005 as it had been in 1995,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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Notice of Motion – Higher Education base funding increase

Senator RHIANNON

I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move:

1.      

The Senate notes that:

a)     

That the Coalition government’s plan to rip $900 million out of Australian universities and increase student debt by $1.2 billion will not be legislated.

b)     

The enormous contribution by organisations such as the National Union of Students and the National Tertiary Education Unions in campaigning against these proposed cuts.

c)      

The former Labor government commissioned two major reports into university funding, the Bradley Review of Higher Education (2008) and the Lomax-Smith Review of Base Funding (2011).

d)     

Both the Bradley and Lomax-Smith reviews found that Australian universities are chronically underfunded.

e)     

The Bradley Review found that Australia was the only OECD country where the public contribution to higher education remained at the same level in 2005 as it had been in 1995.

f)      

The Bradley Review proposed a 10 per cent increase in base funding of universities to maintain standards at their current level. 

g)     

The findings of these reviews are still relevant due to a lack of implementation by the former government on their recommendations.

 

1.      

The Senate calls on the Government to:

a)     

Commit to an immediate 10 per cent increase to base funding of universities.

 

 

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