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Savage MYEFO cuts to university research another Labor fail in education

The Albanese Government’s axeing of a cutting edge research program for regional universities is further evidence of Labor’s abandonment of regional Australia. 

Shadow Minister for Education Sarah Henderson, said the decision to end the Coalition’s Regional Research Collaboration Program, which provides a range of supports to strengthen rural research capacity, is another $56 million loss to the regions.

Labor has also cut $46 million from Australia’s Economic Accelerator Program, a hallmark Coalition initiative to support the commercialisation of national research priorities.

“The Albanese government’s $102 million cut to university research makes a mockery of its commitment to the research sector and the critical research role of Australian universities,” Senator Henderson said. (Pg 234 MYEFO 2023-24)

“Under the cover of darkness, Education Minister Jason Clare has wielded his research axe which also demonstrates his lack of good faith in the University Accord process.

“University Australia’s estimate that every dollar spent on research yields a $5 return to the economy underscores the magnitude of these cuts – a cost of more than half a billion dollars to our nation’s prosperity.

“The government has cut $1.2 million from the Destination Australia scholarship program which is a real blow to students wanting to study in the regions,” Senator Henderson said. 

Labor has also axed a teacher shortages funding measure and reallocated it to the higher education sector to support initial teacher training requirements. (Pg 236, MYEFO 2023-24)

“Mr Clare has shown no commitment to combating the teacher shortage crisis let alone fixing spiralling school standards and disruption in classrooms.  He is all talk and no action on his promise to deliver ‘full and fair funding’.

The Budget update also shows that uncapping university places for metropolitan Indigenous students will cost $325 million over the next decade.

“Given I was seeking these costs at a senate inquiry, this raises further questions about Jason Clare’s failure to be transparent about the use of taxpayers money,” Senator Henderson said

“The extension of the Higher Education Continuity Guarantee for a further two years indicates the government has no plans to invest in university reforms in the short term.  However, Mr Clare must explain why the cost of this guarantee has not been revealed in MYEFO.”

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