REVEALED: How Budget cuts will affect CQUni
A CQUNI head said the Budget's blow to universities will leave them relatively unscathed despite outrage from students and political leaders across the country.
In a controversial move by the Turnbull Government, significant cuts to university funding were announced in the Federal Budget this week.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham justified the $2.8 billion cut with a report released by Deloitte Access Economics, which revealed universities brought in enough revenue through student fees to cover most teaching costs.
Under the new system students will also face a 7.5% fee hike and be required to start paying back their HECS debt earlier.
CQUni's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Bowman, said although he doesn't welcome the cuts, the university's current performance would soften the blow.
"We have been expanding massively, opening campuses in Townsville, Cairns and Perth,” he said.
"Our modelling shows that we can sustain those cuts because our domestic student numbers continue to grow. There will be some cuts to funding requiring CQUni to find efficiencies but we have been growing well to become a truly national university and are financially stable enough to do so.”
The Labor party is leading the offensive against the cuts, among them Keppel MP Brittany Lauga who said less funding wasn't the way to better education.
"Labor doesn't want young Australians who are studying to better themselves saddled with a bigger uni debt at the same time as they are trying to buy a house, or start a family,” she said.
"If Australia is to have a strong, high-productivity economy, we should be investing in education, not cutting it like the Liberals are doing.”
Despite the increased financial pressure on students, Prof Bowman said the HECS program was still available and hoped the fee change wouldn't be "too much of a deterrence”.
He believes CQUni will continue to have access to federal funding via the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program to help support students recruited under the "widening participation measures”.
He believes they can recruit more students into enabling and bridging courses at a "sub-degree level”.