2020-2021 Pre-budget Submission

Download: 2020-2021 Pre-budget submission

In our submission to consultation on the Government’s upcoming 2020/21 Budget, we have provided advice on how to support postgraduate students both coursework and research through the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future to rebuilding the economy. Specifically, we make the following recommendations:

Recommendation one: That all domestic Higher Degree by Research students be paid a stipend for the duration of their research degree.
Recommendation two : That all domestic self-funded postgraduate students be eligible to receive Austudy, subject to means-testing.
Recommendation three : That the Government provides ongoing adequate funding for university teaching and research.
Recommendation four : That the government provides a one-off payment to universities to support RTP scholarship extensions to 4.5 years for all HDR students at Australian universities.
Recommendation five : A Jobmaker initiative should include research jobs by increasing public research funding initiatives (e.g., ARC, NHMRC, research block grant, or other research infrastructure funding) that will stimulate industry collaborations that will create new jobs by developing new industries (e.g., start-ups/spin off businesses).
Recommendation six : That some attention and support be brought to addressing the mental health concerns of postgraduate students at universities, both coursework and research.
Recommendation seven: That the Government amends the Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines to establish paid family violence leave, and provides an additional $491,000 to universities to fund a family violence leave scheme for recipients of Research Training Program stipends.