Vice Chancellor Ian O’Connor’s statement on the latest federal cuts to University funding

On 13 April, the Federal Government announced that $2.3 billion will be cut from the University system over the next four years to contribute to the funding of school education reforms. It is estimated that almost $1 billion of this funding will come from cuts to university revenue with the remainder of the burden falling on students.

While details of the cuts are still being worked through, it is expected that Griffith will lose approximately $15.5 million in funding for the 2014-2015 period. Unfortunately, this is not a one-off funding cut so there will be a continuing impact on the University budget in 2016 and beyond. 

These latest cuts follow higher education funding reductions announced in October 2012 (which had a total impact on Griffith of over $15.6 million for the 2013-2016 period). 

The Government’s latest decision is very disappointing for the higher education sector. The University will be carefully considering options to address the significant shortfall in funding over the next few years. 

Further details on the cuts appear below: 

Changes to university funding arrangements in 2014 and 2015 ($900m) 

  • This measure applies an efficiency dividend of  2 per cent in 2014 and 1.25 per cent in 2015 to all grants under the Higher Education Support Act  2003, excluding Australian Postgraduate Awards. This equates to 3.25% in 2015 which provides the base for future funding and is not recoverable in the out years of the University budget.

Changes to HECS-HELP upfront discount and voluntary HELP repayment bonus ($228.5m) 

  • From 1 January 2014, this measure will remove the upfront discount of 10 per cent offered to students enrolled in Commonwealth-supported places who pay their student contribution upfront; and remove the voluntary HELP repayment bonus of 5 per cent.
  • This measure will not affect students who choose to fund their university studies through HECS-HELP deferred loans.

Changes to Student Start-up Scholarships ($1.2b)

  • The measure replaces the Student Start-up Scholarships with equivalent income contingent loans for new recipients of student payments undertaking higher education from 1 January 2014.
Professor Ian O’Connor, Vice Chancellor
16 April, 2013