More than $1.5 billion will be available over four years to support Australia’s world-class university researchers following the introduction of new laws into Parliament today.
Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2015 would guarantee $1,538.9 million for research programmes funded through the Australian Research Council (ARC) from 2015 through to 2019.
“Up to $748.3 million in ARC grants will be available in the 2017-18 financial year, while up to $739.6 million will be available in 2018-19,” Senator Birmingham said.
“This legislation secures funding for the Future Fellowships programme after the previous Labor Government left a funding cliff that provided zero dollars for a Future Fellows Scheme from 2015 onwards.”
“High quality research can help save lives, protect the environment, raise living standards for people around the world, create business opportunities and efficiencies, and drive the innovation and creativity needed for the jobs of the future.”
Senator Birmingham said the new legislation also honoured Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s commitment to NZ Prime Minister John Key in Auckland last week to extend Australia’s student loans scheme to New Zealand citizens who have been long-term residents of this country since childhood.
“If the Bill is passed this year, an estimated 2,600 New Zealanders will be eligible for loans to help them study at university, or for higher level vocational education and training qualifications, in 2016,” Senator Birmingham said.
The Bill follows legislation currently before the Parliament which allows data sharing between Australia and New Zealand to support the Australian Government’s requirement for anyone who moves overseas to continue to pay back their Australian student loan just as they would if they lived in Australia.
The Bill will also make Torrens University Australia eligible for research block grant funding, placing it on an equal footing for research funding as other Australian private universities, and recognise Ballarat University’s name change to Federation University.