Passage of Higher Education reforms will lock in vital research funding

04 Mar 2015 Media release

The continuation of the National Collaborative Research Investment Scheme and the Future Fellowship programme hinge on successful package of the Government’s higher education reforms through the Senate, the Minister for Education and Training, Christopher Pyne said today.

“It is a simple reality: Labor defunded NCRIS and Future Fellows. They were left on a cliff. We are putting the money back in to keep the programme going. That requires the reform to pass to provide the savings,” Mr Pyne said.

“Labor left no money in the forward estimates for NCRIS and Future Fellows beyond 30 June 2015,” he said.

“Under Labor’s plan, NCRIS will cease to exist on 30 June 2015.

“Through the reform process the Government has provided $150m for 2015-16 and a review of future needs in research infrastructure.

“This was an integral part of the higher education reform package announced in the 2014 Budget. The funds for NCRIS only exist because of savings elsewhere in the higher education package.

“As I have made clear on many occasions over many months, if the higher education reforms don’t pass, funds do not exist for NCRIS. The jobs of 1700 people will be at risk. Australian research will suffer.

“The way for Labor to support NCRIS, which they themselves defunded, is to support the higher education reforms.

“Labor needs to stop playing politics and enter negotiations with the Government because it will be on the heads of Labor, the Greens and the cross benchers if it closes,” Mr Pyne said.

Tags: higher education reform,