Abbott government betrays students

“The Coalition has no plans to increase university fees.”

CHRISTOPHER PYNE - MEDIA RELEASE – 26 AUGUST 2012 

“I want to give people this absolute assurance, no cuts to education …”

TONY ABBOTT - INSIDERS – 1 SEPTEMBER 2013

 The Abbott Government’s first Budget marks the end of fair and affordable higher education, and a betrayal of Australian students and their families.

This Budget will mean spiralling university fees for young people – and demonstrates that the Government has broken its promise not to increase fees or to cut funding to higher education.

Not only has university funding has been cut, but student debt will skyrocket and universities will be forced to compete with private providers.

Lower-income, female, and rural and regional students and their families will be the hardest hit as they are made to shoulder a larger burden of university costs.

More than $5 billion in cuts to Higher Education will mean:

  • Less public investment in university teaching per student, despite almost 100,000 additional student places.
  • Slugging students with ever-increasing debt, an increased interest rate, and lower thresholds for beginning repayment.
  • Over $200 million less for university teaching and research programs as a result of changes to indexation.
  • $171 million in cuts to equity programs.

There will also be a $31 million cut for the national higher education regulator, TEQSA, which will be expected to police the introduction of new providers, including private companies, seeking to access Commonwealth funds for teaching undergraduate students.

This Budget heralds the death of the Whitlam-Hawke higher education system: a system in which your brains, not your wallet, determined where you go to university and what you study.

Under the Abbott-Pyne system, students will be forced to weigh up how much debt they will incur, and how long it will take them to repay it, when deciding whether or not they can afford a tertiary education.

This is a government with the wrong priorities when it comes to higher education.

WEDNESDAY, 14 MAY 2014


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