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Budget 2010: Higher education indexation announced.
The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister
Senator The Hon Kim Carr
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
13 May, 2010
Joint Media Release
Higher Education Indexation Announced
The Rudd Labor Government has today moved to put the new Higher Education Index in legislation to ensure funding certainty and the long-term sustainability of our universities.
The Higher Education Support Amendment (Indexation) Bill 2010 was introduced into Parliament today and will apply to all grants under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) from 2012.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr said the measure would deliver more than $2.6 billion to universities over five years though a new, more generous, indexation rate to help them meet the cost of quality teaching and research.
This amount is additional to what the sector would have received under the previous indexation arrangements and includes conditional funding of around $94 million a year from 2011 for universities signing on to the Government’s new performance indicators.
From 2012, the revised indexation arrangements will apply to all amounts subject to indexation under Part 5-6 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
Ms Gillard said the boost to Australia’s higher education sector last year by the Rudd Labor Government was in contrast to funding cutbacks to higher education in other developed countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States.
This is because the Government believes Australian universities have a critical part to play in our nation’s long-term productivity.
Under the new legislation, the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services labour price index will replace the Safety Net Adjustment, which makes up 75 per cent of the new index. The remaining 25 per cent of the index will continue to be the Consumer Price Index.
The new index applies to maximum student contribution amounts, the OS HELP loan amount, and the FEE-HELP limit from 2011.
This index is considered to better reflect wage price increases in the higher education sector.
The new indexation arrangement will also help the Rudd Government meet its objectives of ensuring that 40 per cent of Australians aged between 25 and 34 years have bachelor level qualifications by 2025.
When passed, this legislation will fulfil the Government’s to improve indexation for the higher education sector, included in the response to the Bradley Review.
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