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Nearly 12,000 disappointed Qld uni applicants because of Howard cuts.

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Media Release Jenny MacklinMP


Acting Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Employment, Education, Training & Science Federal Member for Jagajaga

Many more Queenslanders would have received an offer of a university place in today’s main admission rounds if the Howard Government had not cut university funding since 1996, Jenny Macklin said today.

“It is outrageous that so much talent is being wasted under the Howard Government.”

Ms Macklin congratulated all the people who received an offer today.

“Getting a place at university reflects an immense amount of hard work, commitment, and potential.”

But Ms Macklin said that tragically a lot of talented people had missed out on the offer of a place.

“According to QTAC, 22 per cent of applicants - one in five applicants - missed out an a university offer today. That means almost 12,000 applicants missed out and there was a 3.9 per cent drop in offers since last year.”

Ms Macklin said that the Howard Government was robbing aspiring young Australians of a university place.

“Since 1996, the Howard Government has ripped out more than $5 billion from Australian universities, including $610 million from Queensland universities.

“Queensland universities have received 16,000 fewer place, since 1996 than had been promised by the then federal Labor Government in the 1995 Budget.”

According to QTAC, there has been a surge of interest in courses like education and health where Queensland has a critical skills shortage.

“It is astonishing that would-be teachers and nurses are being turned away from universities when Queensland desperately needs more - not less - skills in these critical areas.

"The Howard Government should be capitalising on this much-needed surge of interest in teaching and nursing, not stifling it.”

Ms Macklin said that the Howard Government must commit to urgent public investment in our universities and fund more university places, particularly in critical areas like education and health.

The Howard Government’s cuts to Queensland university placed and funding, based on government reports of university finances and accounting for the real increases in the costs of running a university, have been:

Institution Cumulative cuts to number of

places promised in 1995 Budget Cumulative funding cut 1996 - 2002

Central Queensland -455 -$55.597m

Griffith -2,583 -$64.108m

James Cook -1,964 -$89.357m

QUT & USC* -3,632 -$190.357m

Uni of Queensland -6,101 -$158.322m

Southern Queensland -2,098 -$53.067m

Total QLD -16,831 -$610.808m

* Prior to 1999, University of the Sunshine Coast was allocated through QUT. As a result disaggregated cuts are not available.

More info: Joanna Brent 0408 473 278 9 January 2003