Australian Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, has reacted to the latest Grattan Institute Report ‘Mapping Australian higher education 2018’ which shows that growth in professional jobs in Australia did not keep up with the growing number of graduates over the decade, especially in science. It has also found that Commonwealth funding for tuition subsidies will drop for the first time since 2003 and that almost one in four university academics are now casual. Senator Faruqi is calling on the Federal Government to properly fund higher education, invest in science jobs and work to reverse casualisation in the sector.
Senator Faruqi said: “Forty percent of recent science graduates are still looking for work which is really disappointing. Australia should be a world leader in science and technology, investing in the industries and jobs of the future.
"This lack of science and technology jobs can be directly pinned on the Liberals who undermine the sector and talk down exciting new areas like renewable energy . They have cut more than a hundred million dollars from the CSIRO budget since 2014 on top of pay freezes and efficiency dividends. Public funding of research has also declined, leading to a lack of research jobs and opportunities.
“Casualisation of university staff is at an all time high. We know that casualisation means insecure work for staff, giving university management the upper hand. Academic staff deserve conditions that provide academic freedom and stability.
“Australia already has one of the lowest levels of public investment in higher education in the world and the Government seems hell bent on continuing to slash funding from the sector. This is absolutely retrograde when the Government should be moving in the opposite direction.
“The report is a wakeup call for Prime Minister Morrison to reverse cuts to higher education and invest more in research and innovation to create jobs especially at a time when we need our brightest minds to address climate change and transition to renewable energy” she concluded.