In response to the changes announced today in the Government’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011-2012, Science & Technology Australia President Professor Michael Holland said, science is wealth creating and a contributor to the Australian economy so it is important to have a strong workforce and this begins with education.
“Any measure which impacts on a healthy flow of science graduates is short-sighted.
“Particularly regrettable is the effect the measures will have on indigenous students and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
“Over the next decade Australia will not have enough scientists to meet demand and skills shortages in this area will impact on Australia’s ability to drive productivity and compete internationally.
“Every effort must be made to attract and retain talented people to science and maths. The pipeline must be healthy starting at primary school where the wonderment of science can and should fill every classroom – and continue so as to attract and retain science teachers.”
“If Australia wants well-trained science teachers, more students choosing science and a scientifically literate community, then we must put our best foot forward and this includes supporting students who wish to study science at university.
“Science & Technology Australia look forward to working with Professor Ian Chubb to develop new means for further lifting student participation rates in maths and science”, Professor Holland concluded.