The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) welcomes the Budget’s new funding towards research. However, we are not supportive of the way the funding will be distributed, as an uneven playing field will be created where recent graduates and early career researchers may be disadvantaged. It is imperative for Australia’s future economic prospects that we retain our young research experts and not lose them to overseas markets, which beckon with more enticing opportunities.
The Budget fails to respond to the call made by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) for additional funding to support the sector. We have seen staff and students continue to bear the brunt of the cost-cutting measures at universities through job losses, restructures, and a deterioration in the quality of teaching and learning.
CAPA is supportive of the international student incentive program that will refund visa fees for international students who arrived in Australia by 19 March. However, these students, who will fill the critical staff shortages in our floundering hospitality sector, still pay outrageous tuition fees for what appears to be an ongoing online or blended learning experience. Failing to properly fund our universities pushes our beacons of education and intellectual inquiry further down the path of being businesses competing for limited funding, and offering subpar services for obtuse prices.
In our budget submission this year, as in previous years, we are lobbying for better welfare support for postgraduate students who often don’t meet the criteria for Youth Allowance or Austudy. We call on the Federal government to create a special recipient category for postgraduate students to receive the one-off $250 payment earmarked for welfare recipients in April, as many postgraduates will likely be excluded if they’re not current for Youth Allowance, Austudy, or ABSTUDY payments.
“There is something fundamentally wrong in the way research is addressed in this country. The policies are sensationalised, but lack forethought and substance”, says Errol Phuah, CAPA National President.
Buzzwords alone will not grow an innovative or productive population. Buzzwords alone will not create jobs nor save jobs. Buzzwords alone will not help us to keep our best and brightest minds from taking their big ideas for commercialisation, overseas.
Acting NATSIPA National President Dr Sharlene Leroy-Dyer
M: 0417 239 909
CAPA National President Errol Phuah
M: 0431 545 167