Release type: Media Release


BUDGET 2009-10: A new era for Australian universities


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

Joint Media Release with Senator The Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation; Industry; Science and Research

Building on the Education Revolution, the Rudd Government today announced a $5.7 billion package over four years to deliver unprecedented reforms across the higher education and innovation sectors in response to the Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education and the Cutler Review of the National Innovation System.

Investing in higher education and innovation is a key part of the Government’s Education Revolution and productivity reform agenda. This investment in higher education and innovation is an investment in the jobs of the future. By investing now, the Government will prepare Australia for growth beyond the global recession with that growth driven by high skilled and environmentally sustainable jobs.

This new era for Australian universities is part of creating a stronger, fairer and more prosperous nation able to compete successfully in the global economy.

These reforms include:

  • a move to a student centred system underpinned by a national regulatory and quality agency, which will enable an extra 50,000 new students to commence a degree by 2013;
  • substantial resources to promote equity and performance funding tied to quality;
  • a landmark increase to university indexation;
  • a phased move to addressing the gap in funding for the indirect costs of research;
  • major reform to student income support, to better support our most needy students and an increase to postgraduate stipends;
  • major investment in higher education, research and VET infrastructure, through the Education Investment Fund totalling $3.0 billion dollars; and
  • additional recurrent funding of $2.2 billion over the forward estimates for higher education teaching, learning and research.

These reforms represent a transformational change in the way Australian higher education operates and is funded.

The reforms being introduced by the Rudd Government will enable Australia to chart a new economic direction based on excellence in skills and the development of knowledge-centred products and services.

These reforms will drive a greater focus on students and their needs, an increased emphasis on quality teaching and learning and increased participation by students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These changes will allow more Australians, irrespective of their socio-economic circumstances, to access a quality higher education qualification, enabling an additional 55,000 enrolments by students from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds by 2020.

Research funding will be based on quality and transparency, driving excellence across the system and helping universities focus on their areas of research strength.

There will be less red tape and micromanagement for universities and improved facilities for teaching, learning and research.

The Rudd Government understands that by investing in higher education, vocational education and training, and research the nation is investing in the jobs of the future and long term prosperity.