The self-proclaimed fixer of Australian politics, Christopher Pyne, has today been abandoned by the powerful Group of Eight universities – a move that should finally signal an end to his chaotic effort to deregulate university fees.
According to reports, Christopher Pyne has now lost the strongest support he ever had for his unfair plans to uncap fees in Australian higher education.
Labor has fought the Liberals’ plan for $100,000 degrees every step of the way because of the dire consequences it would have for students, their families and the Australian economy.
Labor has stood firm on our belief that hard work and good marks, not wealth, should determine if someone gets the opportunity to go to university in this country.
This is yet another embarrassing defeat for Christopher Pyne who has thrown Australian higher education into complete chaos through his sheer incompetence and short-sighted ideological agenda.
The best thing for Christopher Pyne to do now is scrap his unfair and unnecessary plan for $100,000 degrees and start again.
In the meantime, Labor continues to welcome engagement with Vice-Chancellors from all universities who want to talk constructively about how Australia can continue to strengthen its world-class university system.
The Americanisation of higher education is not just the wrong path for Australian universities, it is a disastrous path for students and the nation’s future.
While the Liberals remain determined to price young Australians out of going to university, Labor is committed to working with the sector to build a fair, sustainable and high quality university system.
There are 190,000 more students at university today because of the reforms of the last Labor Government.
We must continue to strengthen equity and access in higher education, but also ensure that students who enrol in university are supported to compete their degree.
With two-thirds of all new jobs requiring a degree but completion rates falling, we must ensure young Australians finish their degree so they can get a good job down the track.
Labor will deliver a higher education system that ensures young Australians get a degree, not a debt sentence.
Because Labor believes in a strong economy that doesn’t leave people behind.