Queensland universities will be amongst the hardest hit by Christopher Pyne’s higher education changes as the Senate inquiry into the Abbott Government’s university cuts begins in Brisbane today.
Queensland universities are facing a cut of almost $890 million to teaching and research as a result of these changes.
The effects of these cuts will be most devastating in regional universities, particularly in Queensland.
According to the Regional Universities Network - which will appear before today’s Senate inquiry – at four Queensland universities, more than a quarter of their students are from low-income backgrounds.
In fact, one in five tertiary students from low-income families across Australia studies at a Queensland university.
The Regional University Network says the changes will disproportionately hit regional universities and are “likely to exacerbate the divide between the city and rural and regional Australia.”
Vice-chancellors of these universities know the crisis they will face in the event of a 20 per cent cut in funding for student places, removal of the cap on fees and hefty increases in student debt.
No Australian university has given unqualified support to the Pyne plan: they all reject the 20 per cent grant cut in whole or in part, and all recognise that charging real interest rates on HELP debts is deeply unjust.
The Pyne plan would destroy the fair go in Australian universities. The plan is rotten to the core, and Labor rejects it entirely.
TUESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2014