Re­gional uni­ver­si­ties sup­port McGowan

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

THE Re­gional Uni­ver­si­ties Net­work (RUN) sup­ports the amend­ments to the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Sup­port Leg­is­la­tion Amend­ment (HESLA) Bill to as­sist re­gional higher ed­u­ca­tion providers and stu­dents, as pro­posed by Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi).

How­ever, RUN op­poses the over­all pas­sage of the Bill, as does Ms McGowan.

RUN strongly sup­ports the pro­posal for a na­tional, re­gional, higher ed­u­ca­tion strat­egy.

Such a strat­egy is con­sis­tent with the gov­ern­ment’s con­sid­er­a­tion of is­sues re­lat­ing to re­gional ed­u­ca­tion par­tic­i­pa­tion in the In­de­pen­dent Re­view of Re­gional, Re­mote and Ru­ral Ed­u­ca­tion.

The strat­egy would include mea­sures to in­crease the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of re­gional stu­dents in higher ed­u­ca­tion, sup­port tran­si­tions, and recog­nise the role of higher ed­u­ca­tion providers in re­gional de­vel­op­ment. A re­view of re­gional load­ing is also pro­posed. An­other amend­ment pro­vides fi­nan­cial incentives for stu­dents to study in the re­gions.

Those who study in re­gional Aus­tralia are much more likely to work in the re­gions.

The amend­ment will give stu­dents study­ing at a re­gional cam­pus a longer Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Loan Pro­gram re­pay­ment free pe­riod on rel­e­vant units.

Stu­dents would not have to start re­pay­ments un­til they reach the 3.5 per cent thresh­old un­der the amend­ment ($56,205 - $59,576).

This would pro­vide re­lief for stu­dents in low in­come house­holds.

Ad­vice pro­vided by the Par­lia­men­tary Bud­get Of­fice to Ms McGowan in­di­cates that the cost of this mea­sure will only be $21.6 mil­lion over the for­ward es­ti­mates to 2020-21.

We con­grat­u­late Ms McGowan on propos­ing th­ese amend­ments.

How­ever, we op­pose the over­all pas­sage of the Bill.

The ef­fi­ciency div­i­dend on univer­sity fund­ing will have a dis­pro­por­tion­ately greater ef­fect on re­gional uni­ver­si­ties, and what we can pro­vide to our stu­dents and com­mu­ni­ties.

We rely on the gov­ern­ment for around 40 per cent of our fund­ing, com­pared to less than about 20 per cent for the older, met­ro­pol­i­tan group of eight uni­ver­si­ties.”

Pro­fes­sor Greg Hill, chair of RUN WE wel­come your let­ters to the Edi­tor. Pri­or­ity is given to typed/emailed let­ters un­der 250 words. Ev­ery let­ter must have your full name, ad­dress and a day­time phone con­tact num­ber supplied for ver­i­fi­ca­tion pur­poses. Any let­ter may be edited for rea­sons of space, con­tent or leg­i­bil­ity. Let­ters are pub­lished with the au­thor’s name and town/lo­cal­ity.

edit.chron­i­cle@ne­me­dia.com.au Let­ters to the Edi­tor, 37 Rowan St, Wangaratta 3677

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