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Rankings highlight risk of uni funding cuts

Australia’s strong global university rankings face growing competition from a rising Chinese university system powered by Government investment, highlighting the dangers of a proposed $2.8 billion cut to university funding.

The rankings influence where international students choose to study – and our strong rankings in recent years have helped to generate a record $23 billion a year in export income for Australia.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said while Australia’s performance remained stellar compared with other nations, the latest rankings had some ominous signs.

“The strategy of investing heavily in higher education is paying off for a number of our Asian neighbours – with universities in mainland China and Hong Kong challenging the position of Australia’s universities in these rankings,” she said.

“This should be a warning sign. While global rankings have their limitations in what they tell us, there is no doubt they influence international students making decisions about where to study.”

“There is a bitter irony in these results being published as a further $2.8 billion cut to university funding is being proposed.”

“Coming on top of almost $4 billion that has been stripped from universities and their students over the past 6 years, the proposed further cuts would weaken Australia’s great university system.”

“Smart nations understand that public funding in universities is an investment in long-term national prosperity. Ultimately, they will be the winners in the fierce race for global opportunities.

“It’s clear that China is becoming a increasingly strong competitor – which the rankings analysts attribute to its ‘high and sustained levels of state funding’. Indeed, China is building the equivalent of almost a new university every week.”

Source: Universities Australia

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