Building and research projects that Federation University had considered putting on hold or scrapping could go ahead after the state government announced a $350 million fund to support universities.
The Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund will provide funds for capital works, applied research and research partnerships to help them rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.
Universities will also be offered about $110 million in payroll tax deferrals to free up funds following the downturn of international student enrolments and other revenue lost during the past months.
"We have a number of major construction projects that were being reassessed in light of COVID-19, so this is timely assistance to secure future investments in regional education," said Federation University vice chancellor Professor Helen Bartlett.
Professor Bartlett said Federation University had a significant capital works program planned over the coming years, and the uni would look closely at which projects align with the funding to continue capital works on campus and help deliver jobs and better facilities.
"Together, Vice-Chancellors from across the state have strongly advocated for a funding partnership that will help us overcome the current challenges threatening the position of Victoria as an education powerhouse," Professor Bartlett said
"This is a fantastic opportunity for Federation University to partner with the Victorian Government on significant capital works and research projects that will deliver lasting benefits for our regional communities."
Works funded under the $350 million package will focus on technology and infrastructure that enables universities to conduct new research, commercialise intellectual property, complete building projects and create high-value jobs.
A dramatic drop in the number of international students for semester two at Fed Uni will deliver a big hit to the institution's finances.
Professor Barlett said the biggest groups of international students at Fed Uni were from India and Nepal, and most students enrolled for first semester were on campus before Australia's borders closed.
"We were fine for the first semester but the problem is going to be the second - we won't have a second intake for the year and it would have been in the low thousands," she said earlier this month.
Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas also called on the federal government to provide long-term sustainability to the higher education sector through access to loans or grants to universities, increasing funding for domestic students, Job Keeper payments for uni staff and more support for international students.
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