Uni calls for fund re­think


CHARLES Dar­win Univer­sity will use a fed­eral gov­ern­ment ed­u­ca­tion re­view to push for a re­think on how ed­u­ca­tion is funded out­side cap­i­tal cities and re­gional cen­tres.

Vice chan­cel­lor Simon Mad­docks said the univer­sity used its sub­mis­sion to the In­de­pen­dent Re­view into Re­gional, Ru­ral and Re­mote Ed­u­ca­tion to call for bet­ter sup­port for teach­ers in iso­lated ar­eas and for stu­dents tran­si­tion­ing into higher ed­u­ca­tion.

“We recog­nise that there’s not an end­less bucket of money but what we’re push­ing for is if we’re go­ing to get se­ri­ous about at­tend­ing to those sorts of is­sues, there needs to be a va­ri­ety of al­ter­na­tive fund­ing pro­grams that recog­nise that it’s more costly to ser­vice those stu­dents in ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

“We re­alise that crit­i­cal mass is im­por­tant but we’ve got to come up with smart ways of do­ing it.”

Prof Mad­docks also took aim at the gov­ern­ment’s stalled higher ed­u­ca­tion re­forms, sin­gling out a plan to make stu­dents in en­abling pro­grams pay their own way.

“We will ar­gue that the very co­hort of stu­dents that might be im­pacted by that are stu­dents com­ing out of re­gional and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, be­cause quite of­ten they need the en­abling pro­gram to get ac­cess to univer­sity,” he said.

“They’re com­ing from low so­cio-eco­nomic back­grounds, so to have to pay up­front could ac­tu­ally be a debt that’s suf­fi­ciently dis­in­cen­tivis­ing to them.” The CDU chief urged the gov­ern­ment to con­sider ways to help at­tract the best teach­ers to the schools where they were needed most.

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