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.