Policy Submissions

2019-20 Pre-Budget Submission

30 Jan 19

Attachment: Pre-budget submission

Investment in education and research have been eroded over the past several years, owing to budget repair. In spite of the Government’s declared commitment to an ‘innovation’ economy, the higher education sector has suffered continuous cuts and funding freezes. Given the budget surplus now reported, we echo the plea of Universities Australia (2018) that the Government must take this opportunity to reinvest in the nation’s research capabilities. In particular, there is an urgent need to develop Australia’s future innovators: our current and prospective postgraduate students.
In this submission, we identify several key areas of crisis in higher education, and in postgraduate education especially, and make four recommendations. These recommendations are that:

  1. Income support payments such as Austudy be extended to all full-time domestic postgraduate students;
  2. The number of Medicare subsidised psychologist sessions available under mental health care plans be extended from a maximum of 10 to a maximum of 12, for all mental health conditions that are currently subject to the 10 session cap;
  3. Research investment be increased to 3% of GDP; and
  4. The Government investigate options for price regulation of postgraduate coursework degrees.