Changes to the way universities are funded passed through parliament this week, providing a shot in the arm for Victoria University.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Rosenman said the funding increase, foreshadowed in this year’s budget, was significant for VU because of its large numbers of students from a low socioeconomic background.
“The Government plans to lift the proportion of disadvantaged higher education students by allocating extra funding for enrolments from this group," Professor Rosenman said.
"This will provide an extra $325 million to the sector over the next four years. This money will go towards student support services such as language and literacy programs, and alternative access schemes.
“A separate fund provides additional resources for our schools outreach program, which encourages students from the western suburbs to consider university after they complete their VCE.
“In addition, all universities will benefit from the phased withdrawal of the enrolment cap. From next year, we will be funded for an extra 10 per cent of places, provided we can fill them. When the cap is removed in 2012, all universities will be paid for as many qualifying enrolments as they can accept.
"This means that courses with high demand at VU – such as sports science, education, nursing, business, arts and civil engineering – may attract significantly higher enrolments.
“These changes are timely as we enter a period of growth in which enrolments are expected to rise from 50,000 to 65,000 students by 2016.
“To prepare for this expansion, we are building new facilities to house extended education and research programs that will ensure the University plays a central role in the transformation of Melbourne’s west into a knowledge-based economy.”
Media contact: Jim Buckell, A/Senior Media Officer
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 4243; mobile: 0400 465 459; email: firstname.lastname@example.org