While DASSH welcomes the government’s willingness to negotiate on some of the proposed amendments to the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014 put forward by members of the Senate, including the decision to retain the current the HECS-HELP repayments at the Consumer Price Index rather than the proposed 10 year bond rate, there still remain proposed amendments that are disadvantageous to Australian students, the higher education sector and the Australian economy. These include:
- The reduction in commonwealth support for higher education through cuts to Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS)
- Amending the Australian Research Council Act 2001 to enable additional investment in research through the Future Fellowships Scheme
- Amending the Australian Research Council Act 2001 to apply a one-off efficiency dividend in 2015-16.
DASSH recommends the Committee of Inquiry reject the cuts to CGS support and that the efficiency dividend be applied to the ARC.