“The Coalition has no plans to increase university fees.”
[CHRISTOPHER PYNE - MEDIA RELEASE - 26 AUGUST 2012]
The Abbott Government will go back on its word not to slug students with higher university costs as Education Minister Christopher Pyne prepares the ground for fee deregulation.
Despite earlier promises not to raise fees, it is now clear that the Abbott Government plans to shift a larger burden of university costs on to students and their families.
Mr Pyne has suggested that students and their families can afford to pay more -
“I do think that there is capacity for students to contribute more to their own education.”
[CHRISTOPHER PYNE – INSIDERS - 4 MAY 2014]
Deregulating fees and shifting a larger burden of the cost of education on to students will have serious consequences for social equity.
How will making it harder for kids to go to university make us a smarter country?
As Professor Ross Milbourne, Vice-Chancellor of University of Technology Sydney, has warned:
“Aspirations of parents for their children to attend university would be destroyed by degrees costing between $100,000 and $200,000 each.”
[THE AUSTRALIAN HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT - 7 MAY 2014]
Australia cannot afford to make the same mistake as Britain, where young people turned their backs on higher education after a steep hike in fees.
Australian students already pay a sizeable share – more than 40 per cent – of their education costs, which are among the highest in ANY developed country.
If Mr Pyne is concerned about Australia’s higher education system being left behind by China, he should take a look at how China is investing in its universities.
Saddling our young people with huge HECS debts is not going to make us a smarter country.
Our future depends on being a smart country: we need university graduates to fuel the economy.
This is yet another stark demonstration of this government's cockeyed priorities.
THURSDAY, 8 MAY 2014