University Funding

May 9, 2017

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the following changes to university funding proposed by the Federal Government?

  Total approve Total disapprove   Strongly Approve Approve Disapprove Strongly disapprove Don’t know
Reducing funding to universities by $2.8 billion 28% 56%   7% 21% 33% 23% 15%
Increasing student fees by $2,000 – $3,600 for a 4-year degree 30% 60%   7% 23% 32% 28% 11%
Requiring students to begin repaying loans once their salary reaches $42,000 instead of $55,000 47% 44%   14% 33% 24% 20% 10%

56% disapproved of the proposal to reduce university funding by $2.8 billion, and only 28% approved. Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (80% disapprove), ALP voters (69%) and those with a university degree (65%). Those most likely to approve were Liberal/National voters (45% approve) those aged 65+ (40%) and males (34%).

60% disapproved of the proposal to increase student fees, and only 30% approved. Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (84% disapprove), ALP voters (73%) and those aged 18-24 (71%). Those most likely to approve were Liberal/National voters (51% approve) and those aged 65+ (46%).

47% approved of the proposal to require students to repay their loan earlier, and 44% disapproved. Those most likely to approve were those aged 65+ (68% approve), Liberal/National voters (67%) and other party/independent voters (57%). Those most likely to disapprove were Greens voters (68% disapprove) and those aged 18-24 (59%).

Education Cuts

May 9, 2017

Q. The Government is proposing to increase student fees for university education by 7.5% over 4 years and cut University funding by 2.8 per cent. To what extent do you agree with these statements about the proposed changes?

  Total agree Total disagree   Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
The changes are needed to reduce the Federal Budget Deficit 34% 41%   11% 23% 17% 21% 20% 7%
These changes will make it harder for young people to enter the housing market 53% 22%   24% 29% 18% 15% 7% 6%
Universities have plenty of funding. They can absorb a cut without it damaging the quality of education. 37% 30%   10% 27% 23% 18% 12% 9%
With university fees up, penalty rates reduced, and housing affordability becoming harder, young people have cause to feel they are under attack. 61% 17%   29% 32% 17% 10% 7% 5%
University education should be free for all Australians, just like it is for primary and secondary school 45% 29%   24% 21% 20% 19% 10% 5%
These changes will make it harder for Australia to become more innovative. 49% 21%   23% 26% 21% 14% 7% 7%
A government that cuts university funding while delivering business a tax cut has the wrong priorities 57% 16%   32% 25% 21% 10% 6% 6%

The most widely agreed with statement was “With university fees up, penalty rates reduced, and housing affordability becoming harder, young people have cause to feel they are under attack”. Those most likely to agree with this statement were Greens voters (82%) and ALP voters (76%). Those most likely to disagree were those aged 65+ (28% disagree) and Liberal/National voters (27%).

The most widely disagreed with statement was “The changes are needed to reduce the Federal Budget Deficit”. Those most likely to disagree with this statement were also Greens voters (73% disagree) and ALP voters (54%). Those most likely to agree were also Liberal/National voters (54% agree) and those aged 65+ (49%).

University places

Jul 14, 2015

Q. As far as you know, do you think that there are enough or not enough places for all Australian students who want to attend university? 

  Total   Men Women Aged

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged

55+

Enough 41% 42% 40% 51% 34% 40%
Not enough 38% 40% 36% 29% 45% 39%
Don’t know 21% 18% 24% 20% 22% 21%

Respondents were evenly divided over whether there are enough places for all Australian students who want to attend university.

41% believe there are enough and 38% think there are not enough.

Those aged 18-34 are more likely to think there are enough places and those aged 35-54 more likely to think there are not enough places.

Affordability of university

Jul 14, 2015

Q. And do you think that a university education is affordable or not affordable for all Australian students who want to attend university?

  Total   Men Women Aged

18-34

Aged

35-54

Aged

55+

Affordable 27% 28% 25% 30% 25% 26%
Not affordable 63% 60% 66% 61% 65% 62%
Don’t know 10% 11% 10% 9% 10% 12%

A majority of 63% of respondents think university education is not affordable for all Australian students who want to attend university.

Only 27% think it is affordable.

More than 60% of all age and gender groups think university education is not affordable for all Australian students who want to attend university.

Deregulation of university fees

Nov 4, 2014

Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the Federal Government’s proposal to deregulate university fees? 

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

Total approve

22%

12%

43%

7%

17%

Total disapprove

53%

73%

30%

81%

59%

Strongly approve

6%

6%

10%

2%

5%

Approve

16%

6%

33%

5%

12%

Disapprove

23%

27%

21%

22%

25%

Strongly disapprove

30%

46%

9%

59%

34%

Don’t know

24%

14%

27%

12%

24%

 

22% approve of the Federal Government’s proposal to deregulate university fees and 53% disapprove.

60% of those aged 18-24 and 59% of those with a university degree disapprove.

Access to university education

Nov 4, 2014

Q. It has been claimed that deregulation of university fees will enable universities to create more scholarships for financially disadvantaged students. Overall, do you think deregulating university fees will increase or decrease access to a university education?

 

Total

 

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Vote other

Total increase

22%

21%

29%

9%

19%

Total decrease

44%

54%

29%

74%

43%

Increase a lot

9%

12%

8%

3%

11%

Increase a little

13%

9%

21%

6%

8%

Make no difference

18%

14%

27%

8%

18%

Decrease a little

15%

13%

18%

15%

13%

Decrease a lot

29%

41%

11%

59%

30%

Don’t know

16%

11%

15%

10%

19%

 

44% think that deregulating university fees will decrease access to a university education and 22% think it will increase access. 18% think it will make no difference.

Those most likely to think access will decrease were aged 18-24 (57%) and those with a university degree (53%).

Matthew McGowan – National Tertiary Education Union

May 1, 2012

Matthew McGowan came to the NTEU National Assistant Secretary’s position in October 2010 after eight years as Victorian Division Secretary.

He has worked in the sector for 20 years and been a union activist throughout his working life.

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