Just days out from Christmas, Turnbull has delivered local universities and students part of a $2.2 billion cut from Australian Universities.
As school-leavers from the Ipswich and Somerset Region are nervously awaiting university offers, they now have to worry about the future of university funding under Turnbull.
While Labor was successful in leading the charge against the $3.8 billion of cuts announced in May, in this week’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) the Liberals have tried again.
The new cuts will be devastating to young Australians, particularly those in regional Australia including the Ipswich and Somerset Region.
Turnbull’s planned MYEFO cuts will freeze student funding grants to universities for undergraduate places in 2018 and 2019 and cap growth for these places in 2020 and 2021.
The HELP repayment threshold will be lowered to $45,000 and the amount students can borrow through the student loan system will be lowered to $104,440 (or $150,000 for students undertaking medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses).
3000 Postgraduate Commonwealth-supported places will be cut, and the allocation arrangement for remaining sub-bachelor and postgraduate Commonwealth-supported places will be changed.
The freeze in funding will effectively reintroduce Howard-era caps, and means some students will miss out on a university place. The University sector is united in their opposition to these short-sighted cuts.
Due to Labor’s strong campaigning, the Government dropped its plan to introduce fees for enabling courses and introduce international full-fees for New Zealanders and Permanent Residents.
Turnbull also maintained funding for HEPPP – the Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program - albeit at a much lower rate than when Labor was last in office.
Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann MP, said the cuts could adversely impact the University of Southern Queensland’s Ipswich and Springfield campuses.
“The LNP are making it easier for big businesses to pay less tax, but harder for people in the Ipswich and Somerset Region to go to university.”
“Everything Turnbull does is putting university further out of reach. He wants to make it harder for young people to go to university, buy a house, start a family and get ahead.”
“The LNP have never cared about strengthening unis, helping students, or preparing our economy for the future. Turnbull is adversely impacting Ipswich and Somerset Region students to reward multinationals and millionaires.”