University lobbies have locked in with Labor, backing the Opposition’s $9bn across ten-years commitment to restore demand driven funding.
Peak body Universities Australia described the Opposition’s policy as; “a win for fairness, productivity, the national economy and student cohesion.”
“We applaud the clear recommitment by Labor to the demand-driven system – which is strongly supported by Australian universities as a key to opportunity and national prosperity,” UA president and Monash University VC Margaret Gardner said.
The Group of Eight was equally adamant in backing Labor, welcoming; “the federal opposition’s commitment to put post-secondary education front and centre of our nation’s future with a commitment to ensuring our universities remain accessible to all who have the ability and dedication.”
“The Demand Driven System (DDS) has to date been a success for Australia in opening up a university education to a large proportion of school leavers,” Executive Director Vicki Thomson said.
The Innovative Research University group agreed;
“The commitment from the Australian Labor Party to fund all Australians seeking undergraduate university education, with similar commitments to ensure access to vocational education, provides a clear basis for Australians to achieve this. It marks a clear contrast with the government’s position, driven by its previous fiscal challenge, that funding for higher education be constrained to 2017 levels. With the number of school leavers set to grow for the next decade that simply means more eligible Australians will miss out on the education they need,” Innovative Research Universities executive director Conor King, said Friday.
“The coming election will decide whether we return to open enrolment by demand or return to ministerial decisions university by university on numbers,” Mr King separately stated.
The unaligned Australian Catholic University also backed Labor’s announcement with VC Greg Craven saying, “the hundreds of thousands of graduates who have benefitted from the opportunities opened up by the demand-driven system are the legacy of the far-sighted decision of the previous Labor government. We are pleased that Labor leader Mr Shorten and (deputy) Ms Plibersek have recognised the immense social and economic value of this legacy and have chosen to embrace it as their own.”