Australia / 06 de diciembre de 2017 / Fuente: https://www.theguardian.com
Education minister is reportedly preparing to end program that helps students from low-income families
Six out of 10 Australians think cuts to university funding would limit access to tertiary education and the same proportion would oppose attempts to reduce the education budget by circumventing the parliament, polling conducted for the university’s lobbying arm has found.
On Monday it was reported the education minister, Simon Birmingham, was considering non-legislative changes to funding, including axing the higher education participation and partnerships program (Heppp), which helps students from low-income families access university.
Universities Australia responded on Tuesday by releasing polling conducted on its behalf which found 60% of respondents opposed cutting equity programs that support poorer students to go to university, without approval from parliament.
Almost as many (59%) opposed cutting research funding for universities without approval from parliament, another measure reportedly being considered by the government, and 63% agreed cuts to funding would limit access.
The numbers were higher among people from regional areas and over 55s, with 69% of those demographics saying they opposed cuts to funding that were not put through parliament.
The poll of 1,575 people was conducted by JWS Research between 24 and 28 November.
The chief executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson, said the results showed the government would be making the wrong decision if it pursued non-legislative cuts.
“The government keeps coming up with creative new ways to cut funding to public universities, but the message from voters remains the same: it’s the wrong decision for Australia’s future,” she said.
“The Senate has been crystal clear on this too, and would quite rightly take a dim view of any bid to go around the legislative protections for higher education funding.
“They can see what the government seems unable to: cuts to universities are not what this country needs as we head into an era of stronger global competition and a greater need for higher skills.”
The government has sought to put pressure on opponents of the government’s higher education bill by hinting it would find another way to reduce education spending if necessary.
On Monday Birmingham said the government was “considering all options” to trim spending.
The bill, which is opposed by Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon team, would impose a two-year 2.5% efficiency dividend on universities, lower the Help debt repayment threshold to $42,000 and increase fees by a cumulative total of 7.5% by 2021, and would introduce performance contingent funding aimed at increasing graduate outcomes.
Fuente noticia: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/05/education-poll-60-per-cent-say-funding-cuts-limit-access-to-university