The University of Wollongong will lose almost $100 million over four years under Federal
Government budget cuts, according to new research by the National Tertiary Education Union
ACTU President Ged Kearney and NTEU NSW Secretary Genevieve Kelly met Wollongong
University staff on campus today to discuss the impact of the Government’s 20 per cent cut to
The NTEU estimates Wollongong University will lose $95.8 million dollars in Commonwealth
funding between 2016-19 as a result of the Government’s cuts.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said on average universities will have to increase their fees by about
30% just to compensate for the lost funding.
“The Illawarra region has the second highest youth unemployment in the state. The Government
should be looking at ways to create education and training pathways for young people – not
putting a university education forever out of their reach,” said Ms Kearney.
The funding cut could also lead to the university relying on more casual staff to cut costs and will
have a detrimental impact on the Illawarra, said NTEU NSW Secretary Genevieve Kelly.
“Already around half of university teaching is being delivered by casual staff with little to no job
security and retiring academics are being replaced by casuals. It is unsustainable and puts the
quality of university education in jeopardy.” said Ms Kelly.
While most of the public attention has been on the Abbott Government’s plan to saddle university
students with mortgage sized HELP loans, unions are equally concerned about the 20% cut to
“These severe budget cuts mean universities like UOW will either have to significantly increase
student fees and debts, or compromise the scope, nature and ultimately the quality of the
teaching, research and community service they deliver to their students,” said Ms Kelly.
“NTEU members call on Vice Chancellor Professor Wellings to end his support for the Abbott
Government’s changes, and to bargain in good faith with the NTEU, to protect UOW jobs and
conditions. Professor Wellings needs to stand up for the local region and Illawarra students.”
The Abbott Government’s cruel and unfair budget leaves universities with no reasonable choices,
said ACTU President Ged Kearney.
“The whole community is concerned prospective students and their families will be forced to give
up their aspirations of a university education because they can’t afford the fees.
“Unions have vowed to campaign against the Government’s unfair budget measures and protect
hardworking Australians and their families,” said Ms Kearney.
Media contact: Genevieve Kelly 0424 465 839