The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations has renewed its call for PG students to be eligible for Commonwealth income-support. “Expanding Australia’s income support scheme to include all postgraduate students would enable more students to complete their courses, facilitate timely completions, and allow access to postgraduate education regardless of socioeconomic background, thus promoting social mobility for low-income Australians,” the Council claims.
CAPA makes its case in a new discussion paper which points out that only a third or so of the 300 000 plus Australian higher degree students have a Commonwealth stipend.
The council calls for means-tested income support for domestic PG coursework postgrads and the same for research students without scholarships.
CAPA also argues Research Training Programme stipends should be a minimum four years and research masters two, pointing out that only 36 per cent of PhD students complete in four years
Last year then CAPA president Peter Derbyshire suggested extending student payments to postgraduates was a necessary response to “qualification creep.”
““It is becoming clearer however that the employability of students will be linked to obtaining qualifications above that of a Bachelor’s degree. As qualification creep continues there will be a future need to ensure students are supported to obtain the postgraduate qualifications needed for employment and this system will allow for that expansion in the future as it is needed.”