Revelations about the depth of cuts to the University of Newcastle if the Turnbull Government’s higher education legislation passes the Parliament have angered Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon.
The university could lose more than $100 million over the next decade as part of the Government’s higher education legislation which will also hike student fees and lower the threshold at which people need to start repaying HECS.
The university’s enabling programs are also in the firing line with Government plans to levy fees of up to $3200, cap places and open up the courses to tender by private providers.
Ms Claydon said the cuts would be devastating for the university, students and the local economy at a critical time.
“The University of Newcastle isn’t just the local lead education provider. It is playing a key role in driving the economic and social transformation of our region,” Ms Claydon said.
"If we want to build a strong, diverse local economy the last thing we should do is slash funding for the University of Newcastle.”
Ms Claydon said disadvantaged students would also be hit hard by the impending cuts.
“The University of Newcastle does incredible work in supporting disadvantaged students, with a quarter of our student population coming from lower socio-economic backgrounds and almost half being the first in their family to go to university.
“These cuts will make it all the harder for the university to deliver to the people in our region that need it most.”
Ms Claydon said she supported the University of Newcastle’s call that the Turnbull Government scrap the planned cuts.
“The Turnbull Government’s attacks on universities are senseless and reckless.
“If Mr Turnbull is genuine about wanting to save money, he should ditch his plan to rip $65 billion out of the budget for big business tax cuts instead of slashing university funding.”