February 4, 2019

IRU 2019 pre-Budget submission

The IRU has submitted to the Government its recommendations for the 2019 Budget.

We believe all Australians will need to aspire to gaining more knowledge and skills, learning again and again as needed for us to have a workforce able to take advantage of change not be driven down by it.

Better assessment of future needs and options should inform those coming through from schools and those in the workforce with several productive decades ahead of them.

The 2019 budget is an opportunity for the Government to:

1. commit to a wide ranging review process to establish a tertiary education wide strategy for the 2020s and beyond that links the tertiary education systems to the future needs of Australia and its citizens.

2. re-set the higher education funding framework announced at the end of 2017 so that universities can provide needed education outcomes, by:

  • removing the cap on Commonwealth Grant Scheme funding for each university; or, if it will not do so,
  • index each university‚Äôs cap each year and increase it by population growth for the 17-18 year old school leaver cohort.

3. restore its original encouragement to universities to build stronger research outcomes for industry and other end users by:

  • reversing cuts to the research block grants, and
  • returning the value of the Australian Research Council annual grants program to at least its previous high points in 2014.

4. ensure the best settings to support mobility of students into Australia and Australian students to gain international experiences through:

  • modifying the streamlined student visa arrangements to ensure providers are accountable for students enrolled with them and to apply the risk ratings effectively.
  • streamlining the operation of Government programs for Australian student international study and work experience.

Read the full IRU submission (PDF)