The Labour government has proposed a restricting of federal assessment of university standards. Despite much July bluster surrounding a possible recall of the government’s university funding cuts it appears their only plan is a  further cut, of red tape.

After the leadership spill and the change of the minister for higher education from Craig Emmerson to Kim Carr it was hoped that labour would rethink it’s 2.3 billion dollar cuts. Instead the minister announced a cut to the regulatory burden placed upon universities on August 5th.

Kim Carr has stated that this policy has been formulated through consultation of The Review of Higher Education Regulation Report. This report found that Australian universities are currently subject to an unduly large reporting burden by the government. Through reform to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency the government hopes to alleviate some of the financial strain placed on universities by of their funding cuts.

While this administration reform is surely good news for the tertiary education sector, its announcement has quashed the hopes of the NTEU and Universities Australian along with many students for the reversal of the funding cuts. This policy that was announced as a win for higher education in Australia has also signalled a reluctance in the major parties to invest in universities, leaving only the Australian Greens in support of continued and increasing federal funding of Australia’s universities.