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Curtin Student Guild condemns the government’s decision to slash research funding confirmed in the 2018/2019 Mid-Year Economic Financial Outlook.
According to President of the Curtin Student Guild’s Postgraduate Students' Committee Romana Begicevic, freezing funds to research block grants and PhD scholarships will have a detrimental effect on economic growth and prosperity and reduce the number of students undertaking PhD study.
“Research grants provide training and support programs to keep academic research ticking along,” said Romana Begicevic.
“Researchers are already doing it tough trying to make ends meet, maintaining their families and mental health all while working overtime in research that will contribute to making people’s lives better,” she said.
As a result of the research funding freeze, up to 500 students nationwide will be denied the opportunity to pursue a PhD.
“The ongoing de-funding of the higher education sector ignores the fact that research underpins economic strength, growth and prosperity. These cuts will be a huge step backwards for Australia,” said Ms Begicevic.
In 2017, the value of education as an export for Australia reached $32.2 billion.
“Despite higher education’s massive contribution to the Australian economy, this government has shown it is openly hostile towards universities and has no issue with having them foot the bill for other budget expenditures,” she said.