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Tuesday, 6 April 1965

Senator COHEN (VICTORIA) - I address a question to the Minister in Charge of Commonwealth Activities in Education and Research. Has the Minister seen the report in yesterday's " Age " of an address made on Saturday last by Sir Robert Blackwood, the Chancellor of Monash University, in which he stated that Monash University had not achieved its original growth objective because of lack of finance; that the University's request for funds amounting to £9i million for the 1964-66 triennium was approved only to the extent of £5± million; that running expenses for the same period were approved to the extent of 70 per cent, of the requested amount; that, in particular, a complete lack of support for the second stage of the library and extensions to the Robert Menzies building to house the Law School would impose serious accommodation problems in 1967; and that, if the University's 1959 plan had been adhered to, no qualified student would have been refused admittance to the two Victorian universities this year? Were the statements made by the Chancellor correct? Is it the practice of the Government to have before it the requests of the universities as well as the recommendations of the Australian Universities Commission when considering triennial grants to the universities? Was the Government aware, when it approved grants for the 1964-66 triennium, of the probable serious consequences of cutting down the Monash University's requests?

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