Australian universities have been encouraged by the Education Minister Julia Gillard to put forward claims for extra funding in the next budget.
When asked by The Australian Financial Review about the higher education sector’s concerns about rising teacher/student ratios and recurrent funding failing to keep place with inflation, she reportedly said: “They’ve certainly got a point… they are feeling the consequences of being neglected for more than a decade.”
Gillard says she is particularly concerned about students from disadvantaged backgrounds not making it to university. She will be reading a report from Universities Australia about who is deterred from studying at university and why, due next year, very closely.
But she has also made clear that the new Government’s priority is to fulfill its election promises.