IHEA welcomes 2021-22 Federal Budget

Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) welcomes the skills and training initiatives announced last night in the 2021-22 Federal Budget, following earlier announcements of essential support measures for the independent higher education sector and students.

“Important budget measures unveiled in the 2021-22 Federal Budget will go a long way to supporting the continued quality and strength of the independent higher education sector, and the student experience delivered by providers, during what continues to be a very challenging time,” said IHEA CEO, Simon Finn.

“The budget forecasts of a long lag for recovery of Australia’s international education industry, with only gradual increases in international student arrivals through 2022, will impact the sustainability of Australian higher education providers. The Innovation Fund and Short Course funding announcements will go some way to alleviating this, providing support for providers to develop innovative courses offerings for Australian students.”

“Additional funding will ensure short courses continue to play a critical role in ensuring Australians can quickly reskill or upskill to meet the demands of a changing economy during this time of uncertainty. Waiving of a number of regulatory fees and charges until the end of 2021 will allow providers to focus on what matter most – continuing to deliver the best student experience.”

“IHEA welcomes the budget’s investment in skills and training that will encourage Australian students to pursue apprenticeships and post-secondary training through the JobTrainer package. Training leads to greater employment opportunities and is a pathway to further study and a journey of lifelong learning.”

“IHEA is also pleased by the budget’s investment into the national economy to provide better support for Australian women. Removing barriers to participation in education is essential to supporting equity of opportunity for all Australians across the economy. Further deferral of the FEE-HELP loan fee which serves as a tax on student’s choice of education opportunity is welcomed. To fully support the participation of all Australians in higher education price barriers and inequitable taxes need to be abolished.”

“IHEA and its Members are looking forward to working closely with Government over coming weeks and months on the implementation of the measures announced in the 2021-22 Federal Budget. The challenges of COVID-19 are going to have a lasting impact; however, this Budget goes some way to giving the sector the confidence needed to continue pursuing the best outcomes for the Australian economy and community.”

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