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MEDIA RELEASE: CAPA warns: “Dark days ahead for the Higher Education sector”

11 Mar 20

CAPA warns: “Dark days ahead for the Higher Education sector.”
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is eagerly awaiting a commitment to restore public funding to universities in light of the recent catastrophes affecting the Higher Education sector, as highlighted in our latest submission, on unlawful underpayment of employee’s remuneration. We further condemn the University of Tasmania’s decision to reduce course offerings during this difficult time. 

The Federal Government’s funding cuts over the years has pushed universities to operate as a business, leading them to become dependent on a volatile source of income, the international education market. In light of the bushfires and the coronavirus travel ban, we anticipate declining international student enrolments, and cost cutting responses at the expense of our education and staff jobs.  

“Tough times call for desperate measures”, says National President Romana Begicevic. “The shock decision by the University of Tasmania’s, Vice Chancellor, to significantly reduce course offerings in 2021, without consulting students and staff, is just another example of the underhanded measures that the universities are taking during this difficult time”. 

“It’s just not sensible that education, the key to future growth and economy, is so heavily reliant on the volatile international student market”, says Begicevic. “CAPA demands the government restores funding cuts from the education sector. Survival of our prestigious education institutions depends on it”. 

The downstream effect of this volatile income has resulted in course cuts, casualization of staff and staff dismissals as part of a more agile cost cutting strategy. Education is the key to future growth and the economy and therefore must be properly funded.

For comment:
CAPA National President Romana-Rea Begicevic
M: 0414 792 540