Policy Submissions

Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission

17 Dec 17

Attachment: CAPA 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission

Over the past 2 years, the Federal Government has repeatedly declared their commitment to innovation. Yet, at present, Australia’s tertiary education system has one of the lowest ratios of public funding to GDP in the OECD.1 Federal Government funding for higher education has declined substantially over the past few years (by $4 billion since 2011). Moreover, previous plans to increase income support for postgraduate students have been shelved, threatening completion rates and limiting postgraduate degree participation. CAPA also remains deeply concerned about the higher education legislation proposed throughout the course of 2017 and the impact such changes would have on postgraduates. This environment of uncertainty and decline has negatively impacted universities’ ability to teach the researchers and innovators of the future. Our universities need improved and stable funding for research, teaching, and infrastructure if they are to be globally competitive: a point reiterated by the government’s own expert reviewers in recent years. 2 3 On this basis, we outline a series of priority areas:

❖ Extending income support for domestic postgraduates

❖ Increasing research training funding

❖ Reducing inequalities

❖ Increasing dedicated funding for early career research