Margaret Gardner writes in The Conversation (18.12.18) about the federal government's decision to reduce university funding, revealed in the Treasurer's MYEFO announcement. The author argues that, with a budget surplus in sight, it makes no sense to cut funding from Australia's research capacity.
'Yesterday morning, the mid-year budget update unveiled research funding cuts of A$328.5 million over the next four years. This budget raid on research was more than double the size expected by the university research community.
'This new freeze on growth in research funding and PhD scholarships follows last year’s freeze on funding for student places.
'The effect will be felt immediately by the nation’s researchers and their research projects in positions lost and projects slowed, limited or not started. But the damage done will be felt for much longer – in inventions, ideas and opportunities missed.
'… In truth, most of Australia’s regional universities will lose millions of dollars more under the 2017 funding freeze than will be redistributed to them via this latest research cut. And under this new research freeze, they, too, will lose scholarships for PhD students – our next generation of brilliant research talent.'