Greens leader Christine Milne
Greens leader Christine Milne Contributed

Greens make bid to up the public funding for universities

THE Greens hope to raise university funding by 10% in the next four years, or nearly $1.5 billion, on top of the party's plans to try to reverse the Gillard Government's $2.3 billion cuts to the sector.

Party leader Senator Christine Milne revealed the new election policy on Tuesday in Canberra as part of the party's bid to up the public funding the higher education sectors receives.

Costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, the policy, as well as the party's existing funding policy, could hit the Federal Government's coffers to the tune of nearly $3.8 billion over the next four years.

However, Senator Milne said such a policy was simply enacting recommendations of the 2008 Bradley Review of higher education funding, which the Labor Government had failed to act on.

"Universities are not only critical to a clever country but are drivers of innovation, new investment and jobs in a 21st century economy," she said.

"The Greens university funding boost will ensure hard-working university staff can engage in quality teaching and research."

While the policy seeks to redress the recent cuts, and attempts to improve the funding situation for universities the party did not outline how the policy would be budget neutral.

Greens Higher Education spokeswoman Senator Lee Rhiannon said the policy was "above" being budget neutral, and funding the universities should not come at the expense of other government programs.