Long-term funding shortfalls affect the quality of university education: a report
CANBERRA, July 12 (IANS) – The quality of education offered at Australian universities has been affected by a lack of long-term funding, a new report published on Wednesday reveals.
The report, published by leading think tank the Australia Institute and the Center for Future Action, found that 83 per cent of Australians are concerned that universities prioritize profits over education standards and almost three-quarters are concerned about declining government funding per student.
According to the report, federal funding for public universities fell from 0.9 percent of GDP in 1995 to 0.6 percent in 2021, a difference of A$6.5 billion ($4.3 billion).
In Australia, student fees accounted for 51 per cent of university funding, more than double the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 22.3 per cent.
The university’s share of revenue from private sources in 2019 reached an all-time high of 43 percent.
“The long-term underfunding of universities inevitably undermines the quality of teaching, the quality of university jobs and the quality of a university degree,” The Guardian quoted Jim Stanford, director of the Center for Future Work, as saying.
“Our survey results show that Australians know this.”
Two-thirds of those surveyed said it costs too much to attend university in Australia, and 68 per cent said they were concerned about larger class sizes.
“Universities are doing everything they can to cut expenses. From casualizing the workforce to larger class sizes to cuts in supplemental resources and materials,” Stanford said.
“Imagine learning about the latest science or health from people who get hired on a monthly basis. This will not provide graduates with the comprehensive and comprehensive education they need.”