Another government gaffe highlights uni shambles

First the Prime Minister and then the Education Minister got it wrong on their own higher education policy – now the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Josh Frydenberg, has gotten it wrong too. 

The HELP debt is repaid only on incomes of more than $50,000 and still then, student contributions will represent only 40 per cent of the cost of that individual’s education. 

The taxpayer funds the rest. 

JOSH FRYDENBERG – THE AUSTRALIAN – 6 JUNE 2014

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Pyne uni package an uncontrolled experiment

The fee outcomes of the most radical transformation to higher education in Australia for 30 years have not been assessed, Department of Education officials have told Senate estimates. 

On top of a lack of consultation beforehand, and a failure to reveal this radical plan before the election, we now hear that there is no official view of what will happen to fees,” Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr said after the hearing.

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International scholars could be barred from Future Fellowships

World-class international scholars could be excluded from Future Fellowships under possible rule changes for the prestigious mid-career research awards, Senate Estimates heard today.

The head of the Australian Research Council confirmed that a move to give Australian researchers priority could mean international researchers – who currently make up about 10 per cent of successful applicants, or 20 researchers a year – would be excluded.

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Budget cut puts textile jobs, skills at risk

The Abbott Government’s budget cuts are threatening the survival of innovative Australian firms and the livelihoods of their workers.

A bill introduced into Parliament last week closes the Clothing and Household Textile Building Innovative Capability Scheme (BIC) Scheme and the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Small Business program on 30 June – a year early.

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Dodgy modelling cannot hide higher education shambles

Education Minister Christopher Pyne cannot disguise the disintegration of his higher education package with dodgy modelling or desperate spin, Shadow Minister for Higher Education Senator Kim Carr said today.

According to Mr Pyne, “typical” university graduates will pay only $3 to $5 a week extra in loan repayments over one to two years based on debts of $30,000 and $40,000 respectively.

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Further alarm over uni policy disarray

University vice-chancellors continue to express alarm at the Abbott Government’s higher education shambles, with one describing it as “the worst piece of policy” he has seen in Australia in 26 years.

 University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker has slammed the changes as:

“ … unfair, unethical, reckless, poor economic policy, contrary to the international evidence and being woefully explained, raising suspicions about how much thought has actually gone into them”.

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Andrew Nikolic must act to save higher education in Bass

Shadow Minister for Higher Education Kim Carr and Labor Senator Helen Polley have today called on Bass Liberal MP Andrew Nikolic to stand up and defend the University of Tasmania.

UTAS Vice-Chancellor Peter Rathjen has warned that the Abbott Government’s $30 million cut to its funding may force the university to raise student fees, slash courses and abandon research.

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Pyne contradicts his own shambolic university policy again

Australians are right to feel confused, fearful and betrayed after Education Minister Christopher Pyne has again misled the public by contradicting his department’s website during a television interview this morning.

“Today, as on previous occasions, Minister Pyne said university students enrolled before the Budget on 13 May 2014 would not be hit by higher interest rates on their student debts – this is wrong,"  Shadow Higher Education Minister Kim Carr said today

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Student debt death tax on again, off again

The Abbott Government’s higher education shambles has plunged to new depths of confusion and dysfunction with the Treasurer and Education Minister lining up to contradict the Prime Minister on proposals to collect death taxes on HECS debts.   

“This is a fiasco,” Senator Carr said. “This is a Government that is making it up as it is going along, and clearly has no idea of the implications of what they’re advocating.

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Cuts devastating to CSIRO

The Abbott Government’s savage funding cuts to CSIRO – forcing the organisation to shed one in 10 of its staff  – will  have a devastating effect on Australia’s science and research sector, Shadow Minister for Research Senator Kim Carr warned today.

“CSIRO is our premier scientific research organisation, with an international standing, and is the brains behind a number of cutting-edge discoveries, including Wi-Fi, the first effective influenza treatment, Relenza, and the Hendra virus vaccine, among many others.

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