THE GREENS want $10 million ripped out of Deakin University’s budget to be restored by a future Commonwealth government.
In April Canberra pulled more than $2.8 billion from university funding to pay for Gonski primary and secondary school reforms.
Initial reports placed the cuts to Deakin University between $25 million and $27 million but the figure has been revised down to $10 million.
The university hasn’t indicated how the cuts will affect it’s Warrnambool campus but Wannon Greens candidate Tim Emanuelle said the cuts to regional universities would only add to the number of students looking towards Melbourne for their education.
“More young people are leaving home for the city. We could be facing a skills shortage at home,” Mr Emanuelle said.
“Where you live shouldn’t determine the quality of your education.”
The candidate said Deakin University was moving more classes online as a cost-saving measure.
Deakin University has defended the online teaching shift arguing it allows a greater variety of subjects to be offered at its Warrnambool campus.
“There’s been several reviews, including the Bradley review that show the tertiary sector is drastically under-funded,” Mr Emanuelle said.
Labor Wannon candidate Michael Barling defended the cuts saying Labor’s reforms in primary education would flow through to the tertiary sector.
“Better educated kids coming out of our reformed secondary sector is going to be the thing that makes us more efficient at the tertiary sector. It is a balancing act, there is no question about it,” Mr Barling said.
Greens Victorian Senate candidate Janet Rice said students were living below the poverty line.
“Youth allowance is currently paid at $402.70 a fortnight, significantly lower than the minimum wage and the poverty line. The Greens are campaigning for a $50 per week increase, along with more affordable student housing,” Ms Rice said.