CAPA welcomes the new Minister for Education and Training

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) welcomes the appointment of Senator Simon Birmingham as the new Minister for Education and Training. In doing so CAPA calls on the Minister to address, as a priority, the financial uncertainty currently undermining Australia’s higher education sector by taking the Government’s higher education and research reforms off the table.

“As long as rejected higher education and research reforms remain in limbo, reforms that were originally intended to fix financial problems are only exacerbating the financial stress felt by universities”. Said the National President Harry Rolf.

“The current reform package must be taken off the table and universities given assurance that cuts proposed as part of those reforms such as a 10% cut to the Research Training Scheme (RTS) will no longer be pursued”.

CAPA is optimistic that such a move would allow for a new plan to be developed in light of over 15 months of stakeholder feedback. One that could also take into account the outcomes of multiple reviews being undertaken by the Department of Education and Training, including those from the Review of Australia’s Innovation System by the Department of Industry and Science.

“This is an opportunity to work collaboratively with higher education stakeholders, including student groups who have previously been overlooked. It is a chance to improve a plans linkages with other objectives such as driving innovation in Australia”. Concluded Mr Rolf.

As the peak body representing Australia’s 340,000+ postgraduate students a major stakeholder group in higher education, CAPA looks forward to working with Minister Birmingham, and contributing to an improved plan for higher education in Australia.