Universities have been underfunded for years, resulting in overcrowded classes, casualisation of staff, and deteriorating facilities.
While the Government has increased spending on higher education in recent years, in the drive to deliver a surplus this year there is rumoured pressure to make cuts to higher education funding.
Let the Government know that in the 2012 budget, we need an increase, not a decrease to university funding! An investment in universities is an investment in our future.
As a university student, I believe it is essential for the Government to invest in higher education.
It was with concern that I heard that not only was the Government not planning on providing an increase to higher education funding this year – as recommended by both the Bradley Review and the Base Funding Review - but that there was rumoured pressure to make cuts to higher education funding.
Whilst I acknowledge that the Government has increased spending on higher education in recent years, there is still a long way to go to redress the damage done by years of underfunding.
From a Government that is claiming to deliver an education revolution, a Government that claims to prioritise investing in a skilled workforce and a skills-driven economy, making cuts to education now is extremely disappointing.
The Government’s drive to return to a surplus must not be at the expense of higher education. University funding has already been on the backburner for far too long. If Australia wishes to maintain an internationally competitive university sector the Government simply cannot afford not to invest in our universities.
It is time for the Government to act on the recommendations of two reviews - in 2012, we need an increase, not a decrease to university funding!
Please reconsider the position of higher education in the budget.