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Greens plan to boost university funding

The Australian Greens' plan to boost university funding by $1.474 billion (over the forward estimates) by increasing student base funding by 10 per cent and reversing the Government's multi-billion dollar cuts will support Australia making the transition to a highly productive, knowledge economy.

"This plan not only responds to the recommendations of major Government reports for an immediate injection of public investment into higher education, but also reflects the concerns of eight out of ten Australians who believe cutting investment in the sector threatens Australia's future," said Ms Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia.

"This plan follows yesterday's welcome announcement by the Greens that they will move for a full Senate inquiry into the $2,000 cap on self-education expenses - a tax on learning and on-going professional development.

"To properly fund university education and research is to properly fuel our economy - ensuring it delivers the skills and innovation Australia needs to remain internationally competitive.

"The Government's own agency, the Australian Workforce Productivity Agency, estimates that by 2025, there could be a shortfall of 2.8 million higher skilled qualifications needed by industry and the economy.

"The same agency also found that that one extra dollar invested in tertiary education, grows the economy by $26 and tax revenue by $8."

Ms Robinson said that the Greens' proposed increase in base funding of 2.5 per cent per year for four years echoes Universities Australia's Pre-Budget Submission to Government earlier this year.

"This gradual increase is a responsible path to properly fund university education and research, which has seen a 22 per cent historical real decline in Commonwealth base funding per student since 1995."

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