Extra AU$135 million for regional universities

The Morrison government has pledged an extra AU$135 million (US$98 million) for regional universities, study hubs and scholarships for students in regional and rural areas, offsetting a funding squeeze on universities hit by a AU$2.2 billion cut when the former government froze commonwealth grants in 2017, writes Paul Karp for The Guardian Australia.

The funding, announced by the education minister, Dan Tehan, last Monday, eases the pressure on universities. But the National Tertiary Education Union accused the government of taking with one hand to give with another, and the Group of Eight universities – which missed out on funding – said it was attempting to sandbag regional seats.

The Group of Eight (Go8) Chief Executive, Vicki Thomson, said: “Under the guise of supporting regional and remote students – which is critical policy and strongly supported by the Go8 – the government has carried out a blatant targeted funding raid on base research funding, the depth of which is unprecedented, self-defeating and damaging.” The regional universities network chair, Greg Hill, said the package shows the government is “listening to the voice of regional Australia in the national interest”.
Full report on The Guardian Australia site