In Principio v14 no3 (2003)

Government policies to benefit Notre Dame DURING 2003 several things occurred which are important for the future of the University. Firstly, the State Government agreed to increase our low interest loan support from $1 m to $1 .5m per annum for the next five years. This increase was designed to assist us in managing our capital program in order to provide for enrolment growth on our Fremantle Campus. The low interest loan scheme is extremely valuable for us. Secondly, the Commonwealth Government announced the allocation of $2m to the University to assist it with the develop– ment of its School of Medicine facilities. Again, this will be invaluable for us in relation to assisting with the refurb– ishment and equipping of the School of Medicine building that we have acquired on a lease basis from the City of Fremantle in Henry Street. Thirdly, and most importantly, the University will benefit greatly from the Commonwealth's Higher Education Support Act passed by the Common– wealth Parliament on 5 December 2003. Under the Commonwealth's higher edu– cation reforms, major changes will take place in the financing and regulation of higher education in Australia. For Notre Dame, in simple terms, there will be substantial benefits in respect of support for students, and the financing Christmas Eve Mass of our initiatives in major areas of national priority. Student support, from our perspective, will take two forms. Firstly, a loan scheme for both undergraduate and postgraduate Australian students, which in effect will enable them to borrow the full cost of their tuition fees from the Common– wealth with low interest repayments to be made on an income contingent basis (when their incomes reach $35,000 or more). This will remove much of the financial blockages that we have faced over the years to the admission of top priority students. The second element of student support is a comprehensive scholarship scheme helping with both tuition fees and living allowances for which our students will be fully eligible. The legislation also provides for a major expansion of HECS places, with a special allocation for national priority areas in teaching, nursing, medicine, and Indigenous students. We expect Notre Dame to be a substantial beneficiary of this, although much will depend on the negotiation process with the Commonwealth over the coming months. Another major benefit to the University from the Government's reforms will be the regional 'loading' that we will receive for the Broome Campus. Under this provision we will receive an additional The University of Notre Dame Australia will celebrate the eve of Christmason Wednesday 24 December with carols from 6.00-6.30pm and Christmas Mass starting 6.30pm in the Malloy Courtyard, Mouat Street Fremantle. We extend a warm welcome to everyone. IN PRINCIPIO PRODUCED BY: Development Office, The University of Notre Dame Australia EDITOR: Sandy Oliver • DESIGNED BY: Sara Mathieson & Mandy Laurent CONTACT: 19 Mouat Street (PO Box 1225) Fremantle WA 6959 • Tel: (08) 9433 0698 Fax: (08) 9433 0695 • email: • CRICOS PROVIDER CODE: 01032F • PRINTED BY: Worldwide Online Printing, Cannington If you wish to be removed from the mailing list or if your details are incorrect, please call (OB) 9433 0690 eight per cent on all recurrent higher education funding in recognition of the special costs associated with the operation of that Campus. The Commonwealth's reforms provide a very secure base for planning for our future. I am hopeful that it will provide us with the opportunity to compete strongly with other universities in the Australian market place, and will give us confidence to plan for new developments in the future. Of course, it will create a fiercely competi– tively environment, even more so than is currently the case, and so our ability to benefit from the reforms will depend upon our quality, our capacity to market ourselves, and our cleverness in respect of the programs that we offer and the comm– unity support that we receive for them. It will be an exciting and challenging time! It seems clear that, at the very least, we will need a substantial additional investment in classroom spaces, academic offices, and library and support facilities. As we grow towards our target of 5000 equivalent full -time students, it also seems clear that that target is likely to be realised sooner than the 2010 date that was first set in our Strategic Plan. Dr Peter Tannock I Vice Chancellor