SCU ‘welcomes’ university research funding
SOUTHERN Cross University has welcomed new billion dollar funding for university research, granted in the Federal Budget.
The funding is designed to enable universities to maintain their research programs after being hit heavily by the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President of Engagement at Southern Cross University Ben Roche said that the new funding was welcome.
"The $1 billion dollars is … a recognition that research in Australia has been underfunded for a long period of time and universities have been making that case for a while … so absolutely there are some elements in the budget that we welcome."
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the tertiary sector hard with universities including SCU being forced to cut jobs to navigate the financial challenges created by the COVID-19 environment.
Mr Roche said that while the funding will not plug the revenue shortfall, it will help universities continue their core operations.
"The additional funds from the government won't go into the operating budget itself so the financial shortfall is experiencing this money won't plug that,
"What it will do is take away the pressure from universities thinking about how on earth they're going to fund their existing research activity … what this funding will do is enable universities to keep some of these key researchers."
Mr Roche said the university was 'optimistic' and after a year of 'shocks' to the tertiary sector.
"We feel very optimistic about our future ahead … the biggest challenge for universities over this year is that we've had a series of major shocks, the complete closure of international education system has in Australia has been a major shock."
"The challenge has been that the goalposts that we've need to plan our future and our recovery around continue to shift … we're getting a little bit more clarity and we absolutely welcome that but we've still got a little way ahead before we know where those goalposts are sitting."