Press Release Higher Education Cuts
Education plays a fundamental role in society and is a long term investment into training, teaching and educating one's people which only adds wealth and benefit to the economy. Over the past week we have seen another attempt by the Government to cut university funding, seeing a freeze in the ‘Commonwealth Grants Scheme’ and also capping the funds for student places meaning that new students that rely on Commonwealth Supported places won't get that same opportunity. This will predominantly affect students from low socio-economic and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Other cuts and pressures put on students is the reduction of the HECS repayment threshold forcing students to pay back their HECS debts at $42,000 which $10,000 less than what the threshold is now. This adds financial burdens to students and graduates on already a stressful period.
The Government has once again tried to cover its bad spending habits by ripping money out of educational institutions and vulnerable students pockets. They should find another way of budget saving instead of cutting funds and opportunities from prospective students. Regional students are going to be affected due to expenses, distance and lack of resources. For a university like La Trobe with a big regional presence this is damages the ability of the university to provide support for these students. Students from ethnically diverse backgrounds and international students are also affected by these slashes to higher education, pushing universities to not offer as many placement opportunities for new students and cause students from disadvantaged backgrounds not to consider and not afford the tuition of university.
This is going to affect the community and campus life at La Trobe University and affect the ability to provide essential support services that students require, also minimising the ability to offer prospective students places at the university. The La Trobe University Student Union are in opposition to these cuts and know the full effect it will have to students at La Trobe University.
This constant fixation by the Government on reducing the budget deficit is what keeps them cutting funds to education, they will collect $2.1 billion from these cuts. This is 2.1 billion dollars that could be used on hiring extra academics, providing more resources, giving more financial support to students or even putting it in research that students conduct.