Canberra, April 14 (IANS) Universities Australia, which represents 39 varsities in the country, has predicted that more than 20,000 jobs in the sector will be lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, Education Minister Dan Tehan announced an A$18 billion ($11 billion) higher education relief package, which he said was “unashamedly” focused on domestic students, reports Xinhua news agency reported.
Universities Australia welcomed the announcement but said it would not be sufficient to save jobs.
“We estimate 21,000 jobs at Australian universities will go within the next six months,” Deborah Terry, the Chair of Universities Australia, said in a statement.
“Individual universities are already cutting costs across the board through very substantial reductions in operational spending, deferral of vital capital works, and reductions in senior staff salaries.
“However, this will be nowhere near enough to cover what we conservatively estimate as a revenue decline of between A$3-4.6 billion.”
The University of Melbourne, the top university in Australia and 32nd-best in the world according to Times Higher Education’s global rankings for 2020, earlier in April revealed that it expected revenues to fall by A$500 million dollars in 2020 alone.