Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the real way to supercharge science teaching was to reverse the $2.1 billion funding cut to universities and end the Government’s funding freeze on university places.
“We share the Minister’s desire to see more STEM teachers in schools but the Government’s own funding freeze on universities has made that much harder to achieve,” Ms Jackson said.
“Thanks to the Government’s university funding freeze, there will be fewer students studying science technology engineering and maths, along with all the other disciplines, next year.”
“The Government’s freeze makes it more difficult — not easier — for our nation’s universities to meet the growing demand for STEM skills across the economy, including as teachers.”
In 2016, there were 30,000 extra domestic science enrolments compared to when university places were capped in 2008 — a jump of 52 per cent.
“So it is clear — the way to boost science enrolments is to end the university funding freeze. As it stands, any additional STEM student place is not funded by the Federal Government.”