Low-income and older students the main beneficiaries of increase
UNIVERSITIES have been spared funding cuts while skills and training have received modest boosts.
The sector, which had been pushing for more funding to cope with a 5.5 per cent increase in student offers since last year - and a rise of 36 per cent since 2007 - will instead have to make do with annual indexation remaining at 3.8 per cent.
Low-income and disadvantaged students will be the target of the university sector's only increase, with $23.4 million in extra funding over four years to help them make the transition to university, and to graduate from their studies.
But, from next year, maths and science students will pay more to take up their degrees. Despite the government previously identifying low enrolments in the subjects as an area of key concern, it will remove grandfathering arrangements for maths and science courses, with students to pay almost $315 million more to enrol in those subjects over the next four years.
Instead, the government will invest $54 million to recruit, train and support maths and science teachers.
The government also confirmed that the Gonski reforms of school funding will not be implemented for at least two years, allocating more than $5 million to develop the plans.
The skills sector has received modest boosts, with $25.8 million over four years to encourage older Australians to find jobs and $225.1 million to the jobs, education and training childcare fee assistance program, which allows parents studying accredited certificate II, or higher, courses or studying for more than 15 hours a week to claim up to 50 hours of childcare a week. The government will also invest $43 million in the national workforce development fund, to give an extra 15,000 people training places.
But it will claw back $263.6 million in funding over four years by cutting the service fees of job-seeker providers offering support to level-one job seekers, who require less intensive support than others.