UNIVERSITIES have been on high alert over future funding for months.
In June, Charles Sturt University flagged a possible doubling of some course fees to cover a gaping financial hole left by proposed higher education reforms.
Vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann spoke of the university’s fears the federal government program was being pushed through “way too fast”.
Yesterday, Education Minister Christopher Pyne raised these concerns even higher, speaking of the possible consequences should the government’s higher education reforms fail to pass the Senate.
Put simply, research could be in the firing line — one of the vital cornerstones of the university sector.
While Mr Pyne might have tried to dress up the possibility as a “worst-case scenario”, the fact that it has even been mentioned is a matter for concern.
That concern is apparent by his refusal to rule out research cuts to make up for a shortfall in funding.
Using research cuts as some sort of bargaining chip is not the right approach.
Our universities do not need such further uncertainty.
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