Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP said today that Labor’s announcement to reverse the Federal Liberal Government’s last funding cuts to Universities is a win for Bendigo La Trobe campus and regional Victorian students.
The Liberals’ $2.2billion funding cut will hit regional unis and regional towns like Bendigo, Mildura, Wodonga and Shepparton particularly hard.
“These changes will have a massive impact to regional universities like Bendigo La Trobe. Almost 80% of the students studying at the La Trobe Bendigo campus are from regional areas and almost 60% are the first in their families to study at university.
“Making it harder for country kids to go to university will only widen the city versus the regions higher education gap. Currently, 42 per cent of people in capital cities are university educated, compared with 17-19 per cent in remote and regional areas.
Universities are also warning that regional campuses could close.
“Campus closures will have a devastating impact on regional economies where unis are big employers and its students and staff are important customers for local businesses.
“Today’s announcement that a Labor Government will reverse these cuts, demonstrates that Labor backs regional students and regional campuses like Bendigo La Trobe.
“I believe that Bendigo will really welcome today’s announcement. For many years industry and community leaders have called for Bendigo to become a university city.
“Labor understands how vital access to higher education in regional Victoria is and the critical role regional universities play in regards to regional development,” said Ms Chesters.