Regional universities will lose over federal cuts

A $900 MILLION cut to government-supported university places will make it harder for regional universities to take advantage of the Labor Government's demand-driven enrolment system.

The cut was originally proposed by Labor, but Education Minister Christopher Pyne on Thursday introduced new laws to make it a reality.

While the cut will hit regional higher education institutions, the government has also launched a review of the demand-driven system to improve quality in universities.

Regional Universities Network chief executive Caroline Perkins said the cut would reduce the amount of money available per student by about 2%.

She said it would make it harder for the regional university sector to compete and improve their financial situation.

But she said the move was expected for some time, and despite the cut, the Abbott Government's move to stop Labor's cap on self education expenses at $200 was probably more positive, given the budgetary situation.

Dr Perkins said the ability of people to claim self-education expenses was crucial for many regional students who were working to improve their education.

She said the majority of regional Australians were using the expenses to fund higher education like getting a Masters to improve their professional credentials.

"A lot of people are professionals to whom having a cap on reductions might make a difference to whether they can afford to undertake that study or not," she said.

"It's particularly good news for people in the regions, who often have to travel for intensive training courses or conferences."

Topics:  higher education regional universities universities

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