STEM staff will feel the budget hit worse but nobody else will escape
The courses required to generate high-tech employment will cop the worse of the governments proposed cuts, according to Universities Australia. Educating students in science, technology, engineering and maths will lose $420m of the $1.2bn the governments wants to excise from university budgets. UA’s analysis is in real 2018 dollars with an unchanged discipline mix and student for 2018-2021, and compares funding with cuts to “business as usual.”
“If we want Australia to be a STEM powerhouse we can’t afford to cut public funding to train future scientists,” UA chief Belinda Robinson says.
UA puts overall funding losses over four years (cash and per centage of system total) by STEM discipline culture at:
Maths, stats, computing, built environment, other Health: $107m and 9.1 per cent
Science: $167m and 14.4 per cent
Engineering and surveying:$101m and 8.7 per cent
Agriculture, environmental and related studies & pathology: $31m and 2.7 per cent
Total STEM cut: $405m and 34.9 per cent
“While government funding for each student place in a STEM course would be cut, STEM students would have to pay higher fees for those places – even though the government’s own figures show STEM degrees make a vast contribution to the public good,” UA asserts.
The analysis also projects losses in other discipline clusters.
Allied health: $37m and 3.2 per cent
Nursing: $75m and 6.5%
Dentistry: medicine and vet science: $77m and 6.7 per cent
Total HEALTH cut: $191m and 16.5 per cent
Law, business and economics: $138m and 11.9 per cent
Humanities: $32m and 2.8 per cent
Behavioural sciences: $165m and 14.2 per cent
Education: $106m and 9.2 per cent
Psychology, languages, visual/performing arts: $122m and 10.6 per cent
The UA model is contingent on universities maintaining the existing proportions of costs across discipline clusters and not looking for offsetting savings in teaching and other areas.
“Law and business academics can expect what regularly happens to happen again if the government cuts pass, they will lose more revenue per student to other clusters which do not teach as efficiently,” a veteran of many budget battles said last night.