University of New England to cop $25 million freeze under Federal Government

FUNDING FREEZE: University of New England vice chancellor Annabelle Duncan.
FUNDING FREEZE: University of New England vice chancellor Annabelle Duncan.

THE UNIVERSITY of New England will be $25 million worse off due to a federal government funding freeze.

Regional universities copped a far heavier blow, 7 per cent of funds will be frozen for Regional University Network institutions - which UNE is a part of.

The hit for high-ranking Group of Eight universities pales in comparison, at just 3.5 per cent on average.

University of New England vice chancellor Annabelle Duncan said the university will have to shift its focus to international students, full-fee domestic students and short courses as a result.

“The real lost opportunity is for student in our regions, and mature aged students across Australia seeking a change in career,” she said.

“These are individuals who would have studied at UNE but will not as a result of the funding freeze. 

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“What is lost in the funding policy debate is that students who may be of equal capacity to succeed in higher education are not equal in terms of their access to higher education.”

The lost revenue will impact on teaching infrastructure, new facilities and technology, Ms Duncan said.

These are individuals who would have studied at UNE but will not as a result of the funding freeze.

Annabelle Duncan

But, the university is working to ensure it does not shrink the number of places available to students.

Most undergraduate degrees will be effected by the freeze, base funding will continue to grow at a much slower rate.

Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the base funds will grow from $181.5 million to $193.7 million in 2021.

“That’s growth of $12.2 million over four years for UNE alone,” he said.​

University of New England student Koady Williams said the freeze will have a hefty impact on services and activities.

“The federal government definitely prioritises the city-based universities,” he said.

“It could have a long term effect on students because they aren’t just looking for a degree anymore - they’re looking for a well supported institution.”

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