Сокращение государственного финансирования подрывает систему высшего образования

Так считают представители Go8 - Группы восьми - восьми ведущих университетов Австралии, ознакомившись с предложениями правительства о сокращении бюджета высшего образования на почти 3 миллиарда долларов США.

Финансирование образование сократилось с 90% в 1981 до 50% в 2016. И это уже очень пагубно сказалось на системе высшего образования Австралии.

Тщательный анализ подтвердил, что дальнейшее сокращение финансирования вынудит университеты сокращать рабочие места сотрудников и студенческие службы поддержки.

Как считает один из представителей Go8: "Простая истина заключается в следующем: последнее, что мы должны делать, чтобы подготовиться к высокотехнологичной, инновационной эпохе быстрых перемен является сокращение финансирования высшего образования и научных исследований".

Оригинальная новость

Elite universities say budget is an ‘incoherent mess’

The Group of Eight, or Go8, representing Australia’s eight leading universities, has issued a stinging attack on the government’s budget plans for higher education. It describes them as “a contradictory, incoherent mess” and warns that they will mean students paying more for less and leave universities with less capacity to assist those who most need it.

Vicki Thomson, chief executive of the Go8, said this year’s budget cuts are the worst since 1996 and have led the Go8 board to lobby the Senate to “block the legislation in its entirety”.

She said: “The Go8 is committed to an economically sustainable higher education system for Australia, but this package, for which we were not consulted, is fatally flawed in multiple ways, and will severely harm Australia’s highly successful university system.”

She added that the reasoning behind the eight universities’ united stance is simple. “It should be obvious that when government funding of public universities has already dropped from 90% in 1981 to well under 50%, there is very little more pain we can absorb and our students and the economy are most definitely going to suffer if the Senate does not block the legislation.”

The Group of Eight said the bill is not coherent, is a contradictory set of principles and will in effect implement a 10% cut to government funding of teaching, undermining the sustainability of the higher education system.

The package does not improve outcomes for students or offer positive outcomes for research and it “jeopardises our capacity to continue to develop and grow our international export sector”, the group said.

“In total, it’s a contradictory, incoherent mess,” Thomson said. “Our trust now lies in the Senate having a commitment to good public policy and blocking the legislation.

“We need to go back to basics, with honest data, and professional modelling of outcomes rather than back of the envelope guesswork and ‘judgment calls’ as the government’s own education department officials have labelled the basis for some policy decisions.

“Our students and the Australian community deserve more.”

The Group of Eight said it would prefer to be engaging with government to explore the ways in which continued investment in the higher education sector can bring a net financial benefit to the nation and help address fiscal concerns.

This requires robust analysis and planning of the economic return to Australia achievable through training of talented individuals, education of international students at scale, research innovation and knowledge transfer.

“The evidence from across the globe is that investment in higher education generates new sectors for the economy and a return far greater than the sum outlaid. We need a new approach to assessing the value and impact of the higher education sector,” Thomson said.

In addition to the Group of Eight, nine universities serving some of the nation’s most disadvantaged and regional communities have added their voices to the growing chorus of strong opposition to university cuts.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said that careful analysis had confirmed how deeply the funding cuts would force universities to cut staff jobs and student support services.

“The grim reality is that if these cuts are passed, most institutions do not have capacity to absorb them. At every university, students would pay more to get less,” she said.

The proposed cuts in the 2017 Budget would come on top of the AU$3.9 billion (US$2.9 billion) that universities and students have already contributed to budget repair since 2011.

The government also plans to strip AU$3.7 billion from universities by closing the Education Investment Fund, the last source of funds to build and maintain university facilities, including classrooms, research labs and student hubs.

“Enough is enough,” Robinson said. “Universities and their students have already done more than their fair share for budget repair.”

“The simple truth is this: the very last thing we should be doing to prepare for this high-tech, innovation-driven era of rapid change is to cut funding to university education and research.”

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