Science & Technology Australia recently made a submission to the Jobs-ready Graduates Package Draft Legislation.
To improve the proposed legislation STA is making the following recommendations:
- the Government amend the legislation and maintain the current total base funding to universities per student place in STEM degrees. This would avert financial incentives in the legislation for universities to offer fewer STEM places by adjusting the Commonwealth contribution. The financial impact of this change on the overall package could be offset by reducing the quantum of money diverted into the two major new funds;
- Introduce a clause to section 30-27(1) that reflects the protective measure in the current act (section 30-27(3));
- Amend the legislation to index Commonwealth supported places to both CPI and national population growth for those below 18;
- Enshrine funding formulas in the legislation that guarantee a baseline level of continuing funding support for these two funds;
- Expand criteria for universities to manage compassionate circumstances for students at risk of losing access to HECS-HELP loan support;
- Include legislation that exempts students from this measure in the first year of their study; and
- Amend the legislation to extend the measures for demand-driven student places to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, irrespective of their location.
You can read the full submission here.