State Government Must Protect University Jobs

NSW Labor has slammed the State Government’s lack of support for the tertiary education sector after news the University of New South Wales will slash nearly 500 jobs.

The Shadow Minister for Tertiary Education and Innovation, Clayton Barr said: “The university sector was poised to make devastating cuts, yet the Berejiklian Government ignored the enormity of the crisis.

“This is about saving jobs and livelihoods. There are people who won’t be able to pay the rent or buy groceries because of these savage cuts.”

Reports indicate that 493 full-time equivalent roles will be axed at the University of New South Wales, accounting for 7.5% of the university’s workforce.

Last month the University of Wollongong announced hundreds of job cuts across its campuses.

“The Victorian Government has shown leadership with a $460 million rescue package. The NSW Government’s paltry effort was $36 million in research funding. The University of New South Wales estimates it will have a shortfall of $75 million – more than double the Berejiklian Government’s allocation for research funding across the state.

“Universities play a key role in our society and our economy.  And with the loss of international student revenue, they’re doing it tough,” said Mr Barr.

“The Premier must immediately develop a plan with the universities to ensure no job is lost from our public university system. Gladys Berejiklian should demand the Federal Government appropriately fund universities.”

“All measures must be on the table, including extra funds for universities, payroll tax deferrals and more research funding.”

Universities have criticised inadequate support from the State and Federal Governments, which they say will reduce teaching and research capacity and lead to job cuts.