Economic Crisis for Universities
Australian Universities are facing an economic catastrophe and massive job losses as campuses are shut down across the country. As vice-chancellors prepare to slash their 2020 budgets, they have called on the federal government for millions of dollars to help them cope with the an expected disastrous fall in income from foreign student fees. The National Organization Universities Australia says upto 21000 jobs in higher education and AU$23 billion (US$14,5 billion) in export income will be lost as a result. The universities have warned that the government’s proposed relief package to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 will not be enough to stop the 21000 job losses on the campuses across the nation.
Reduction in Revenue
Former Federal Government Minister and current Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU), Julie Bishop said she expected a 40% decline in revenue for the ANU. She further added that there is a real immediate crisis. However, the universities will benefit from the federal government pledge to maintain their annual funding at AU$18 billion even if domestic student numbers fall. The government has also offered AU$100 million in the regulatory relief. The relief is to be shared between the universities and the vocational colleges in the country.
Students offered Support from States
The South Australian government has taken a step of announcing a AU$13.8 million ‘International Students Support Package” for its universities. The package will provide financial support for the students in the state who are facing hardship. Additionally a AU$500 emergency cash grant would be available to other international students not enrolled at one of the public universities but currently undertaking a tertiary course and living in Adelaide. The three Australian Universities have announced their own support packages including the emergency financial grants, accommodation, food vouchers and academic support.