Victoria University Response To State & Federal Budgets

Victoria University

Victoria University (VU) welcomes both the Federal and Victorian State Budget items aimed at improving student experience and the sector, including $3.8 billion allocated by the Commonwealth to implement the initial response to the recommendations from the Universities Accord Final Report.

Measures were announced to boost equity and access to higher education and to enhance tertiary harmonisation to break down artificial barriers between universities and TAFEs. This is a recommendation VU called for in its Universities Accord submission.

“As Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in his Budget speech it shouldn’t matter where you live, if you grew up in disadvantage or whether you are a First Nations Australian or first-generation Australian – everyone should have the choice to go to university or TAFE. I agree wholeheartedly with the Treasurer; it is what Victoria University stands for,” VU Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said.

“As a dual-sector university, in one of the fastest growing communities in the country, VU is uniquely placed to assist the Australian Government with the Budget’s vision to drive growth in clean energy, manufacturing and, building and construction.”

The Federal Government will also provide immediate and future relief for students struggling with HECS/HELP and VET training and apprenticeship support loans.

In addition, it will fund ‘placement payments’ for teaching, nursing and social work students who are required to undertake unpaid practical placements (sometimes up to 26 weeks) as part of their degrees.

Many of VU’s 45,000 students will directly benefit from these budget promises.

“We are eagerly awaiting the Government’s full response to the Accord in coming months, including further detail about a needs-based funding system – another approach VU supports to increase access to higher education and VET,” Professor Shoemaker said.

Federal Budget funding allocations summary:

  • $427.4 million to establish ‘prac payment’ for nursing, teaching and social work.
  • $350.3 million for Fee-Free Uni Ready Courses.
  • $239.7 million to limit the indexation of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP, and other student loan programs).
  • $88.8 million to deliver additional Fee-Free TAFE and pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • $27.7 million for initiatives that break down artificial barriers and harmonise regulatory, governance and qualification arrangements between the higher education and vocational education and training sectors.
  • $19.4 million to establish a National Student Ombudsman.
  • $18.7 million to introduce a National Higher Education Code to Prevent and Response to Gender-based Violence.

Last week’s Victorian State Budget funding allocations summary:

  • $394 million to continue Free TAFE and training services.
  • $4.6 million to modernise TAFE to support teachers.
  • $11.4 million for more apprenticeships in workforce priorities.
  • $31.6 million for retraining and upskilling for high-priority industries.
  • $113 million for a TAFE Services Fund.
  • $37.6 million for senior secondary VET pathways reform.
  • $14 million to strengthen support for tech schools.
  • $55.2 million to support nursing workforce capacity.
  • $15.9 million for the graduate mental health and wellbeing workforce.

/Public Release. View in full here.