Higher education in the Budget

My quick analysis of the higher education aspects of the budget is online at The Australian. I had a 9pm deadline, so not much time to read the relevant parts of the budget papers and write the article (Wayne Swan’s voice droning in the background did not help either). Unlike last year, though, there wasn’t too much to absorb.

Labor’s estimated spending for 2008-09 is less than what the Coalition had in its forward estimates. There seems to be a small cut in the Institutional Grant Scheme, which is the block grant for research, but I think the main cause is that the first distribution from the investment fund that Costello set up last year has been postponed. It will be the leanest year for universities in a long time.