REGIONAL higher education lobbyists have given the thumbs-up to the federal budget, although Deakin University is remaining tight-lipped on deregulation of the sector.
The Regional Universities Network (RUN) welcomed higher education reform, congratulating Treasurer Joe Hockey and Education Minister Christopher Pyne for examining student participation.
RUN chairman Peter Lee said the association of universities was keen to work with the federal government on the detail of the reforms.
“We are particularly pleased that the government has decided to keep the demand-driven system for bachelor places and extended it to sub-bachelor places,” Professor Lee said.
“This will assist in providing pathways and lift participation in higher education in regional Australia for less well-prepared students.
“We are also pleased the government has chosen not to lower the Higher Education Loan Repayment threshold to the minimum wage, as recommended by the Commission of Audit. This will ensure that most students in part-time work won’t have to repay the debt while studying.”
A spokesman for Deakin University said that given the lack of detail in the federal budget, the institution needed to “carefully consider what it means before we make an official comment”.