Australian Greens Senator and Education Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has responded to the Government’s announcement today that it will weight ‘graduate employment outcomes’ at double the weighting of other measures in newly announced performance-based funding measures for universities. Senator Faruqi is a former academic with the University of New South Wales.
Senator Faruqi said:
“This whole ‘performance funding’ measures push has been misguided and poorly thought out from the start. Now, what they have come up with completely misses the mark and serves only to further undermine universities independence and financial security.
“By tying funding to arbitrary performance measures they are trying to reshape what a university is. Universities should be places of learning, research and innovation where students learn to think critically, but the Liberals want them to operate as businesses and students are consumers, focused narrowly on just ‘employment outcomes’.
“The Government has completely ignored the university sector, unions and experts’ advice that their plan won’t deliver the amount of funding needed. Universities are desperate for a real funding increase.
"The Greens have a plan to fund free undergraduate university and TAFE, and boost university funding by 10 per cent to improve learning and teaching conditions, reduce class sizes and enable researchers to pursue solutions to the big problems of our time,” she concluded.