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According to the OECD’s latest figures, Australia is ranked 30 out of 34 OECD countries for public investment in tertiary education and despite increased enrolments between 2008 and 2016, the Commonwealth is investing less in higher education* in 2017–18 than it did in 2009.
“The appalling state of universities is that they are expected to provide a quality education to an increased number of students with much less funding than ever before,” said Finlay Nolan, Curtin Guild President.
Over the past 18 months, the Government has inflicted cuts of $2.1 billion to funding for student places and further cuts of $328 million to university research.
“Students are getting a raw deal when it comes to their education thanks to all of the cuts in recent years,” said Ms Nolan.
“Larger class sizes, staff redundancies, a shift to online courses, and the phasing out of certain fields of study are all a result of years of funds being stripped from the sector with no consideration for the impact that it has had on students,” she said.
The Guild’s “We Will Not Be Left Behind” campaign is demanding that government investment in education increase to at least 1% of GDP to provide the sector with the much needed funding it deserves.
*as a share of both GDP and total Commonwealth outlays