Cutting education funding is an unnatural disaster, says CAPA
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is dismayed that the Education Infrastructure Fund has been abolished, with money moved to the Emergency Response Fund for natural disaster relief.
The Education Infrastructure Fund consists of almost $4 billion in capital, and was supposed to provide an ongoing funding source for building higher education facilities. However, under successive Coalition Governments, no money was paid out for new projects.
“It is our firm belief that if the Government had not proceeded with irresponsible tax cuts for the top end of town, they would be able to fund both higher education and disaster relief,” says CAPA National President, Natasha Abrahams.
“By redirecting money earmarked for the future of education, the Government – with support from the Opposition – has created a preventable disaster.”
The diversion of the Education Infrastructure Fund has occurred following sustained cuts to higher education and research. Just this week, the government also imposed over $11 million in new fees on higher education providers. These cuts amount to short-term savings in order to balance a federal budget strained by massive tax cuts. There is no regard for how Australia’s future workforce and economy will be impacted.
Education is Australia’s third largest export, with international students contributing over $35 billion to the Australian economy every year. The removal of this fund makes Australian universities less competitive in the international education market, undermining Australia’s position as an education leader. This attack on the quality of Australian education is theft from the future economy to pay for present programs that could be funded in other ways by any government that was competent at economic management.
CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993