Attachment: CAPA Submission
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) welcomes the opportunity to contribute its views on the DEST discussion paper. CAPA is the national peak body of postgraduate student organisations representing Australia’s 257,700 postgraduate students, including 47,300 research students and 261,500 students undertaking coursework qualifications.
First and foremost, CAPA rejects the DEST discussion paper statement that “the transition fund will ensure that the sector can adjust to the changed funding environment by facilitating a shift from reliance on compulsory fees to other mechanisms.” CAPA believes that the transition fund is
(i) grossly undervalued and
(ii) will discriminate against all service and advocacy providers except for sporting and recreation bodies.
To this extent, CAPA agrees with the AVCC statement that the transition fund must be broadened to include other service, advocacy and representative bodies on campus.
It is CAPA’s contention that the transitional fund will provide little to no relief for the vast majority of student associations or service providers outside sport and recreation. CAPA further contends that the only benefit the transition fund will ensure is that sporting fields and pitches will be immaculate through the generous allocation of resources to purchase high quality turf, fertilizers, bindi weed killer and insecticides – and that no substantial sporting programs will be achieved.