Federal budget first step in desperately needed university reform

National Tertiary Education Union

The National Tertiary Education Union has described the federal budget as a first step on the road to major reform universities desperately need.

The federal government has earmarked $1.1 billion in funding over the next five years to implement recommendations from the Universities Accord.

NTEU National President Dr Alison Barnes said more investment would be needed to combat a sector in crisis.

“This budget must be the first step on the road to the major reforms needed to combat the explosion in insecure work, rampant wage theft and a broken governance model,” she said.

“It’s clear the government takes the Universities Accord’s final report seriously, but we’ll need to see a much more ambitious response to properly address the deep problems in higher education.

“Staff must have a seat at the table in overseeing what must be the most significant university reforms in a generation.

“We have proudly fought alongside student unions for measures to ease student debt so it’s welcome to see those calls beginning to be answered in the budget.

“We need the government to be upfront about what its plan to slow the growth of international student numbers means for university funding.

“Already-stretched university staff simply can’t afford more funding cuts after a disastrous decade under the coalition.

“The Australian Tertiary Education Commission has the potential to improve our sector but only if staff are truly represented when it is established in mid-next year.

“The NTEU will ramp up its fight for better universities, which serve Australia’s best interests for generations to come.”

/Public Release.