Charles Sturt University statement on Federal Government’s Budget

16 MAY 2024

Charles Sturt University statement on Federal Government’s Budget

Charles Sturt University welcomes measures to enhance access and bolster support for higher education students included in the Federal Government’s Budget.

By Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon:

The Government’s announcement of paid placements for teaching, nursing, midwifery and social work students is a good start to addressing the impact of placement poverty on students seeking to gain essential workforce skills. But more is needed.

Students completing placements in regional areas away from their homes are having to meet high costs for accommodation and travel which will not be covered by the announced placement payments.

We are also advocating that support for paid placements be extended to a broader base of courses that support critical workforce skill needs, especially in regional areas. Students in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatric Medicine, Speech Pathology, Pharmacy, Medical Radiation Science, Veterinary Science and Veterinary Technology have similar placement pressures that need alleviating.

The reduction of HECS or HELP depts, via changes to manage the impact of indexation on these debts, is also welcome news for our students. Every dollar counts when it comes to giving our students the ability to focus on their education and build their future careers without worrying about mounting debt.

We endorse the Government's commitment to implementing a needs-based funding model.

Through the Accord process we advocated strongly for this model, which will address the unique needs of First Nations students, those from low socio-economic status backgrounds, students with disability, and students studying in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Many more Australians must have the opportunity to succeed at university. Charles Sturt has been providing support and pathways for diverse student groups for many years; we understand how important it is for our students to succeed and that the extra investment in support delivers vital and long lasting benefits to the broader community.

A needs-based funding model is good news for regional universities, as it recognises the real needs of our student cohorts and the costs of regional delivery. We urge the government to consult meaningfully with the sector and be prepared to commit the funding needed to make the new model effective.


Media Note:

For more information please contact Charles Sturt Media Manager Dave Neil on 0407 332 718 or at dneil@csu.edu.au

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