By Geoff Maslen. Despite pre-election promises it would not slash spending on Australia’s universities, the new conservative government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott has done just that – with a A$900 million (US$825 million) cut from university grants.
In addition, the nation’s 820,000 university students will lose discounts they currently receive for early repayment of their higher education loan debts – and that will cost them almost A$300 million.
Australia’s federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, introduced a bill to cut spending on universities and students last Thursday, at the end of the parliament’s first sitting week under the new government. Pyne admitted the Higher Education Support Amendment (Savings and Other Measures) Bill 2013 would be damaging to the university sector. More...