CSU Vice-Chancellor supports national #stopunicuts campaign

Friday 15 Sep 2017

Professor Andrew Vann.Regional communities will feel the direct impact in a loss of local jobs if proposed cuts to higher education funding are passed by the federal parliament, according to Charles Sturt University (CSU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann (pictured).

"If the cuts get through, and we remain hopeful that they won't, it will mean the annual loss of $9 million to Charles Sturt University and equivalent to the loss of 90 jobs from our regional communities," Professor Vann said.

"We need to protect and invest in regional higher education. If we can't invest in higher education, it impacts our regional communities and their economic viability.

"This is not just about Charles Sturt University and campus life, but it is about investment in the sustainability and vibrant future for regional communities.

"We don't support cuts to public investment in universities because universities are drivers of jobs, growth and national prosperity.

"Higher education is also Australia's third largest export and this shouldn't be put at risk by further cuts to the sector."

The proposal currently before the federal parliament would slash $2.8 billion from higher education funding, increasing university students' fees by 7.5 per cent and lowering the HECS repayment threshold from $52 000 to $42 000.

Professor Vann said, "Charles Sturt University is proud that our students come from diverse backgrounds including rural and remote communities, first-in-family and low socio-economic backgrounds.

"In fact, no other Australian university serves as many low SES students.

"These students simply cannot afford to pay more for a higher education to help them, their families and communities get ahead.

"The proposal to link funding to the performance of students could also see us lose up to another $12 million a year.

"This is very threatening yet the government has dismissed its impact on universities."

Professor Vann noted that the community is on the side of higher education and research as polling released this week by Universities Australia shows that more than 60 per cent of voters do not support the cuts.



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