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We can’t have a strong economy without a strong university sector, warns VC

Vice-Chancellor of Western Sydney University, Barney Glover, writes in The Conversation (16.5.16) about the risk to the future of Australia’s economy of a university sector undermined by funding uncertainty and potentially divisive sectoral reforms.

‘We are in a very different place than we were three years ago.

‘During the 2013 election campaign, I think it is fair to say that neither side of politics made higher education, nor for that matter research, a particularly prominent issue. Each of them went to that poll with relatively modest detail in their policy platforms.

‘And yet, during the last parliamentary term, we witnessed perhaps the greatest divergence for quite some time in the views of the two major parties on their policy objectives for higher education.

‘Having withdrawn their plans for the full deregulation of student fees in the recent budget, the Coalition has now floated a series of policy options for consultation.

‘However, cuts of $2.5 billion remain in the budget papers from 2018 onwards.

‘Labor, meanwhile, is heading to this election with the most detailed higher education policy framework produced by an opposition in quite a while.’

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