Students pictured standing and sitting outside Building 67 on campus, with lots of trees and grass in the background. Photo: Michael Gray

UOW welcomes Budget initiatives to support students, research

UOW welcomes Budget initiatives to support students, research

Budget delivers a significant down payment on the Australian Universities Accord reforms

The University of Wollongong (UOW) welcomes the measures announced in the Australian Government's 2024 Budget to support university students and deliver on its planned reforms to higher education.

Measures announced in the Budget include reforms to Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) indexation, a new Commonwealth Prac Payment and funding for fee-free Uni Ready courses.

The Government has also signalled its intent to implement reforms that boost equity and access, and to establish an Australian Tertiary Education Commission.

The Budget also recognises the importance of the international education sector and outlines the Government’s plan for managed growth of the sector going forward.

University of Wollongong (UOW) Chancellor Mr Michael Still said the Budget provides a significant down payment on the recommendations of the Australian Universities Accord.

“The Government has substantial ambitions for the higher education sector as set out in the Universities Accord and this budget is the first step towards delivering them,” Mr Still said.

“UOW will continue to work closely with the Australian Government on its plans to support the integrity and sustainability of the international education sector including through the provision of student accommodation.

“We have strengths in areas of demand for critical skills such as health, education, clean energy and cybersecurity and these strengths can serve as a driver of the skilled workforce in our communities.”

UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Patricia M. Davidson said the Budget will deliver important cost of living relief for students and university graduates.

“Changes to student debt will help to alleviate the financial burden on graduates and ensure a more equitable and sustainable higher education funding framework,” Professor Davidson said.

“We also welcome the move to implement the Commonwealth Prac Payment which will support nursing, teaching and social work students during their mandatory placements.

“Placement poverty has been a very real issue for many of our students and it has disproportionately impacted our Indigenous students, rural and regional students, first-in-family students and students from other underrepresented groups.”