Tech unis smart budget-ask

There aren’t any hard numbers in the Australian Technology Network’s budget submission but there is astute politics

The ATN lobby (UTS, RMIT, Uni SA and Curtin U) does not mention money in the first released statement from the HE sector. But it does present policy proposals, which appear carefully crafted to appeal to the government.

ATN calls include;

* specific funding for HE places in areas with low participation rates and support for RRR students, “to study where they choose.” Both of these should appeal to Education Minister Dan Tehan, who holds a regional seat and is keen to increase access for country kids. The same applies to the proposal of legislating the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme.

* flexible life-long learning and VET-HE pathways – ideas on the government’s agenda

* “a premium rate of R&D tax incentive for business collaborating with universities. It isn’t in the research and development tax legislation now before parliament – but if that fails in the Senate there will have been no harm in asking

Budget bids can be adversarially expressed demands for money the government has other ideas for. The ATN’s approach is to make its case for a higher seat at the policy table.