Posted by: Janek | May 30, 2011

Funding an important win for postgraduates

The Gillard government today had the first reading of the Higher Education Support Amendment (Demand Driven Funding System and Other Measures) Bill 2011, and it has a number of important wins for the sector.

“With the growing number of people attending university for tertiary education, we are glad to see the bill highlights all postgraduate coursework degrees as well” said John Nowakowski, Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations National President. “The new measures will help more students access FEE-HELP and participate in education.”

The important part for the government now is to balance the demand-driven funding with other critical support measurements. “The government now needs to return to the student services and amenities fee to ensure representation and engagement of the growing student loads on campuses,” stated John Nowakowski. “They also need to pay attention to the Base Funding Review, which we hope will highlight that the amount of funding per head is insufficient.”

Under the current model, students enrolled in Masters by Coursework receive the same amount of funding as an equivalent undergraduate student. “Whilst more student engagement is positive, it is essential that there be the ‘Masters experience’ for postgraduate students – smaller class sizes balanced with the more intensive and in depth workload” continued John Nowakowski. “Gone are the days where postgraduate coursework students are the cash-cows of the university, there only to top up the coffers. With higher enrolment comes a stronger demand for the critical learning experience expected.”

CAPA was also pleased to see the legislation of academic freedom. “Free intellectual inquiry is core to the functioning of a university. It will help to build towards the knowledge economy that is fundamental to Australia as we work towards supporting the research sector nationally.”

via Funding an important win for postgraduates | Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.

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