Protesters from all tiers of the tertiary sector denounced spending cuts to higher education. Photo: Kristian Silva
About 2000 protesters representing the higher education sector have staged a demonstration against funding cuts outside the Carlton electorate office of Higher Education Minister Kim Carr.
Organised by the National Tertiary Education Union, the National Union of Students and the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations, protesters from all tiers of the tertiary sector denounced spending cuts to higher education, saying universities "are merely running on the goodwill of the staff".
NTEU national president Jeannie Rea said Tuesday's protest was organised to highlight the plight of higher education in the context of the 2013 federal election.
Kim Carr said the claim that Labor was cutting funding to universities was incorrect. Photo: Kristian Silva
"When Labor first came in, there was the Bradley review of higher education, and one of the recommendations said a 10 per cent increase in funding was needed, which the government cut anyway," she said.
"For many people in the sector, it was pretty much the last straw."
Victorian secretary of the NTEU Colin Long said the protest, which started at the State Library of Victoria at 2pm, took an hour to reach the minister's electorate office in Lygon Street.
A police spokeswoman said no one was arrested or injured in the protest. Rows of police were stationed outside the minister's office.
Mr Carr, who was not in his electorate office at the time of the protest, said the claim that Labor was cutting funding to universities was incorrect.
Funding for teaching, learning and research was projected to increase to $14 billion in 2013, "up a massive 73 per cent over the $8.1 billion committed in 2007", he said.