Australia’s 2018 Federal budget leads to universities receiving additional funding for research. The Integrated Marine Observing System, which is a project by the University of Tasmania, and the synchrotron will receive $1.9 billion over the next twelve years.
Projects that exist under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy will receive additional funding under the National Research Infrastructure Investment Plan. The government claims that $4.1 billion will be provided for research infrastructure through 2030.
Universal Access to Early Childhood Education will receive $440 million to run the program until the end of 2019. The program offers support to 348,000 pre-school students and works alongside programs from the Early Learning Centre to provide an enriched learning environment for children.
The National Schools Chaplaincy program will also become permanent under the plan, with the government setting aside $247 million for the program over the next four years starting in 2018 – 2019. Students that are in remote, rural and regional areas will also benefit from the new mid-year budget update.
The Program will have an anti-bullying focus this year to help stop bullying that is impacting students across Australia.
The budget sets aside $14 million for 185 Commonwealth Supported Places over four years, $53.9 million for the improvement of youth allowance access to regional students over four years, $96.1 million for communities to transition for further training, employment and education and $123.6 million for regional universities over the next five years.
The budget also includes several additions that aim to help kids in activities and lifestyle. The program offers $154 million that will be dedicated to active and healthy living. The program will set aside $83 million to improve existing sport facilities, expand sporting schools and fund local sporting champions programs.
The Quality Schools package receives $6 million over two years that will work to increase public awareness of the program as well as changes to the package. An additional $1.3 million will be provided annually for the funding of the MoneySmart Teaching program. The program offers improved financial literacy education.
A promising statement was also made during the budget talks. The government intends to explore ways to deliver new and diverse pathways in the teaching progression. The goal is to focus on increasing the supply of quality teachers. The efforts will build upon the Teach for Australia program. Alternative pathways into teaching is a serious focus, with the government suggesting that they may allow proposals in 2018 to better deliver these pathways.
VET Student Loans will also receive $36.2 million over a four-year period that will be used on new IT systems. The systems will ensure compliance with the loan program. Student complaints about vocational education lending will be additionally funded, with another $1 million provided to deal with the increase in complaints.
The Gonski 2.0 report also led to primary and secondary school spending being primarily removed from budget measures. The government will spend $20.1 billion in 2018 – 2019 on the states’ education programs, which is in line with what the government spent in last year’s budget.