Fearing a negative impact on the universities and students, The University of Newcastle (UON) has decided to make a cut out of its work and ensure safe accommodation to students. With the government’s decision to block university funding for two years, A UON spokeswoman expresses this scenario as highly disappointing for the university. She adds that such sudden changes not only enhance a potential compulsion on universities but adds a long-term rejection to the growth of performance-targets, for both students and universities.
However, the spokesperson ensures absolutely no cuts in student places, in 2018, as the university has already extended approximately 11,000 the study offers to potential students. For the upcoming tenure of 24 months, she ensures to admit qualified students to the program by saying, “These fund cuts will have a complex and significant challenge for universities across Australia and UON. However, we will continue to lobby seriously for the reversal of these cuts and the impact they will have on students, graduates, and our city and regions.” “UON will work to ensure the cuts do not impact our ability to welcome suitably qualified students into their program of choice in 2019”, she adds. The University of Newcastle was established in 1965 and since then it has been capable of maintaining its motto “I Look Ahead”.
Being #2 university in Australia and #30 among world universities that age under 50, UON has been seen trying hard to maintain its reputation after the fund-freeze announcement by the government. Associate Professor Tom Griffiths, who is also a reputed president of the Newcastle branch of the National Tertiary Education Union said, the members were highly worried about staff job cuts due to the fund-blocking and were already at the breaking point. As widely known the University of Newcastle has a reserve of funds, amounting to $446. When asked about the role of these funds in safeguarding student places, the spokesperson replied, that the amount is mostly distributed to be spent for philanthropic donations, research grants, working capital, and capital grants, based on their priorities. Other than these, the fund is said to be retained for investments in quality teaching, learning, and research facilities, for both students and staff.
Belinda Robinson, the chief executive of UA (Universities Australia), explained further that although there are around 9500 places that will be kept aloof from the funding, their impact on individuals will vary based on the institution. This will further have a bigger impact on the investments that are already imposed by the Australian universities, in their budgets. With the government restricting university funds, now it will be crucial to see how universities manage to enroll qualified and deserving students in essential but expensive courses.