Curtin Student Guild News

Media release: Guild condemns Gov. funding cuts.

Posted By Nicole Lau on 19/12/2017

Drastic cuts to university funding amounting to $2.2 billion announced in yesterday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) have been condemned by WA student organisation Curtin Student Guild.
These proposals would freeze university funding at 2017 levels for two years and mean the end of the current demand driven funding system by which the government has traditionally paid universities to teach every domestic undergraduate student that a university enrols.
A lower repayment threshold for HELP would also see students start repaying their loans when their income reached $45,000 per year. New lifetime limits on student loans have also been proposed and would cap loans at $104,440 for most students, and $150,000 for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science students.
Curtin Student Guild Acting President Adam Parsons said that the lowering of the HELP repayment threshold would affect those students who could least afford to attend university, including graduates with low future incomes, students with disabilities, women, Indigenous students, rural and regional students, and other students from low-SES backgrounds.
“For a government that can afford massive corporate tax breaks, these changes are just further proof of the government’s disdain for education, and the lack of care for the welfare of young people and students,” said Mr Parsons.
“The government has failed time after time to pass legislation to cut funding to the university sector. Most of these measures which bypass the need for Parliamentary approval are a direct threat to the quality and access to higher education in Australia, and are entirely undemocratic” he said.
Mr Parsons said that the Curtin Student Guild opposed a freeze on funding as it would force universities to devise cheaper ways to teach more students and increase reliance on the fees of international students to subsidise the costs of research and teaching.
“University budgets are already stretched with more staff being employed on a casual basis while taking on larger workloads for less pay. These cuts cannot continue without significant detriment to staff and students,” said Mr Parsons.

Maryanne Shaddick