The University of Sydney is set to lose $51.7 million in federal funding over the next four years if the Turnbull government’s proposed education reforms pass the senate this week.
Universities Australia has compiled new data showing $1.2 billion in higher education funding is set to be cut by the federal government, according to a Sydney Morning Herald exclusive.
The figures show that NSW universities could lose up to $341 million in funding between 2018 and 2021.
University of Sydney Students’ Representative Council (SRC) President Isabella Brook told Honi, “the Liberal government’s proposed $1.2 billion funding cut to the higher education sector shows a government that is not interested in investing in young people and their future.”
“Under these proposed changes, USyd will see a $51.7 million cut meaning that students will be paying more for a lower quality education.”
“We can expect things like increased class sizes and less face to face teaching time as the university finds ways to cut corners.”
The government’s higher education package announced in May would see student fees increased by 7.5% and the HECS repayment threshold lowered.
Universities Australia Chair Professor Margaret Gardner said in a statement, “the centrepiece of the package is a $1 billion cut.”
“Public funding for universities is already low in Australia compared to other countries. This package moves in the wrong direction.”
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham argued university funding would still grow despite the cuts.
“Our reforms still see university teaching revenue grow by a further 23 per cent over the next four years and will ensure the ongoing viability of generous higher education funding and access,” he told Fairfax Media.
Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek said, “While Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals are giving tax breaks to big businesses and millionaires, they want to cut Uni funding, jack up student fees, and have lower income earners pay back HELP debts sooner.”
“Their priorities are all wrong.”
Labor and the Greens are due to vote against the proposed changes, forcing Birmingham to negotiate with Senate crossbenchers.