Budget message: hold on Accord’s coming

The Treasurer did not mention universities in his address and Treasury dealt with the sector in one par

“The Australian Universities Accord is an extensive review of the higher education system which will provide recommendations and performance targets to improve the quality, accessibility, affordability and sustainability of higher education.”

There’s a bit more of the same for VET, $3.7bn over five years for more free TAFE and VET places to be fee-free, with a new five year national skills agreement from January.

Diving (sorry) into the detail there are some new announcements, notably $120m for 4000 CSPs in disciplines related to building submarines, (800 of which were already allocated to South Australia).

Among other sparse specifics, there is.$51 million for 600 employed women to “pursue an industry-relevant pre-bachelor higher education STEM qualification, part-time.” And there is $90m for extra psychology course placements and $30m for medical placements for international students in regions.

Science and technology did ok in some already announced penny (well relatively) packets, notably $101m for “critical technologies” (AI and quantum).

In a (probably vain) hope to shut up students upset by HECS indexation, there is $40 per fortnight more in Austudy.


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