States will address the PM’s ultimatum on education funding today. The new funding model must deliver educational parity for 1 million students attending schools in regional Australia, 660,000 of them in state schools. The Government’s commitment to regional education has been inconsistent and this week contradictory.
The inability of the ALP to add up, have seen the proposed changes paid for by slashing $2 billion from universities. Vice chancellors, unions and students have united in their condemnation and the contradictory approach by the Gillard government. The cuts will lead to job losses and course closures. Regionally, La Trobe University Bendigo will lose $6 million, Deakin University in Geelong up to $27 million and Ballarat University up to $7 million. This is a significant impact on already strained budgets.
Regional universities are key sources of knowledge, research, innovation, and development in their local communities. We know that local students are more likely to attend their local universities, which is important if we are to address the lower rates of educational attainment by regional Australians which is currently at half the capital city average.
If the Federal Government is serious about giving young people in the country a fair go, they should redress these issues, not exacerbate them.
Its time this innumerate Labor Government got the numbers right, especially in this vital area of investment for our future.