According to an analysis by Universities Australia, cuts to universities could mean $405 million less for STEM degrees – around 35% of proposed $1.2 billion in cuts nation-wide.
The estimated cuts across STEM disciplines over the next four years are predicted as follows:
Speaking with the Australian, STA CEO Kylie Walker said there was a host of analysis and reports showing the importance of STEM to the knowledge economy for which the government had been planning.
“We know that the skills people learn when they do a degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are the skills Australia needs to invest in right now to build the future of work, and ensure we have a strong economy,” she said.
“I would be very concerned if there are any financial disincentives to pursuing a degree in STEM,” she said.
“We need to be doing everything we can to encouraging and inspiring young people to build these skills, and everything we can to ensuring the system is ready to receive them.”
Ms Walker said the performance of Australia’s university sector — third behind the US and Britain in the top 100 of the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities — ought to be celebrated and rewarded.
You can also catch Kylie speaking with the ABC on national radio.