In his Budget reply speech last night, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten made the commitment noting that nine out of ten jobs created in the next four years would require a post-school qualification.
In 2017, funding for student places was frozen, cutting funding by $2.1 billion and effectively capping the number of Australians who could attend university.
“If we know one thing about our rapidly changing world, it is that we need more university graduates, not fewer” said Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson.
“The ALP commitment is important for our future workforce and re-opens the doors of educational opportunity for all Australians.”
“We mustn’t forget young people in regional Australia are still only half as likely to have a university education.”
“If uncapped places are restored, universities will be able to continue the important equity work that led to:
- 66 per cent more Australians from the poorest quarter of households
- 50 per cent more students from regional and remote communities;
- 105 per cent more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students; and
- 123 per cent more students with a disability.
Universities also welcome Labor’s commitment to rebuilding the vocational education sector following successive funding cuts and policy changes.
“We need both vocational education and universities to be strong to ensure our economy has a smart and skilled workforce into the future.”