CAPA looks forward to continued commitment to higher education and research
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) has expressed confidence in the continuation of the Australian Labor Party as the Government, seeing it as a benefit for all students across Australia.
“The strong position of The Greens on higher education will help to influence a continuation of the support that the Labor Government has shown to the sector,” commented CAPA National Secretary, John Nowakowski.
One of the deciding factors outlined has been in the roll-out of the National Broadband Network, which will assist rural and regional students in being able to continue their studies. Members of Parliament Messrs Oakeshott, Windsor, Wilkie, and Bandt all have universities within their electorates, and CAPA is confident that each will recognise and support higher education. Their role in the new Parliament will also ensure a renewed commitment to rural and regional opportunities for education and research.
“The expectations now laid on the Australian Government are for stability and follow-through on the promises made, and for a continuation of growth and expansion of the sector,” continued CAPA National Secretary, John Nowakowski. “As the nation’s future, postgraduates contribute as much as 60% of the Australian research output, and 50% of the teaching capacity within universities.”
However, John Nowakowski expressed dismay at the decision to change the title of the Minister removing Education. “Australia and Canada are the only two countries with universities in the top 100 internationally without Ministers for Education,” John Nowakowski commented. “This has the potential result in a disjointed approach, though we trust that the Government will maintain connections and co-ordination between secondary, tertiary education, and research.” Postgraduates will still fall under the purview of Senator Kim Carr, as part of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, and Research.
CAPA looks forward to working with all members of Parliament to ensure that, though the title might be removed, education remains a focus of the Gillard Government. Both Senators Evans and Carr have strong track records of supporting and promoting students, and have expressed desire to maintain a competitive education sector.
Critically for many higher degree research students, the ALP has shown determination to create viable career paths into academia to ensure that there is the potential to pursue research and development for years to come, a plan CAPA supports.
“CAPA looks to the recent Research Workforce Strategy the Labor Government commissioned, and hopes to see the implementation of recommendations that will benefit all students,” concluded John Nowakowski.