IPSWICH City Council has joined the call for fairer funding to enable future university students to make regional campuses their first choice.

The Australian Government plans to cap funding at 2017 levels for the next two years along with other proposals.

Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the city would take a strong stand to support the University of Southern Queensland’s Ipswich and Springfield Central campuses.

“We need to encourage students to enrol, not discourage them,” Cr Antoniolli said.

“I would hate to think that potential students are now reconsidering their choice of further education.

“Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine McKenzie and her team need our support to secure funding for the university’s student population going forward.

“The USQ Ipswich campus is all about improving health services training paramedics, nursing and other allied health professionals.

“At Springfield Central USQ has already invested heavily in the future with plans for further stages.

“Growth in the western corridor, particularly Ipswich, means that there will be a demand for more university places, as well as an increased demand for professions, particularly those in the health and education fields.

“The last time the federal government cut places and restricted student numbers there was an eventual shortage of essential professions in our community.

“This retrograde step will also see ramifications well into the future.

“Specifically, this announcement will have enormous impact on restricting the growth of our two local university campuses.”

Cr Antoniolli said the Australian Government suggested universities reduce administration.

“This would lead to a reduction in services and support for students.

“Universities simply cannot afford these cuts and our communities cannot afford them either.

“It’s just not good enough,” he said.

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