Policy Submissions

Submission to the Senate EEC inquiry into the provisions of the HERR bill 2014

17 Sep 15

ATTACHMENT: SUBMISSION made 20th February 2015

Due to serious, fundamental issues of inequality and disadvantage which continue to remain in the Higher Education and Research Reform (HERR) bill 2014 CAPA recommends that the bill be rejected. The more severe issues linked to the HERR bill that are particularly offensive to CAPA include:

  • The proposal to reduce government funding of the Research Training Scheme (RTS) by $173.7M over 3 years equivalent to 10% per year
  • The proposal to introduce a fee on research degrees, allowing a university to charge postgraduate students up to $3,900 per year
  • That these fees will be applied to students that were enrolled prior to their announcement, and that the monies raised are not required to fund research training.
  • The scrapping of the participation targets for Indigenous students and students from low-SES backgrounds
  • There are no guidelines in place for equity scholarships which will be funded by the students
  • Forcing students to foot the bill for their own equity scholarships
  • The complete lack of consultation, and disregard for student feedback.

CAPA is particularly concerned that a 10% cut to the RTS scheme combined with a fee of upto $3,900 pa will force current and aspiring postgraduates to choose between decades of debt or a life in poverty when studying for a Masters by Research of Doctorate (PhD) degree at an Australian university.