The Abbott Government’s higher education package continues to fray at the seams as South Australia – home to federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne – today became the second state government to come out in opposition to the proposed changes.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has slammed cuts of $78 million over four years to university funding in his state, and said the proposed “Americanisation” of universities would make higher education too expensive for many South Australians.
This comes after Tasmanian Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff last week warned Mr Pyne that a $30 million annual cut in funding to the University of Tasmania could mean slashing courses and research, and drive students from the state.
Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr said Premier Weatherill was right to accuse the Abbot Government of being short-sighted and saddling students with years of debt.
“I entirely sympathise with the concerns of South Australia and Tasmania because the Abbott Government’s higher education package will hit students in those states hard.
“But they’re not alone. It’s time for other state governments to stand up and support the universities in their states.
“All of them will experience massive funding cuts to their universities and all of them will see universities jacking up their fees to compensate for the Abbott Government’s short-sighted policies.
“All of them will see their young people facing the prospect of repaying huge debts just as they are starting out in life, trying to buy a house and raise families.
“The conservative state governments need to do their job and stand up to Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne’s attack on our higher education system.”
TUESDAY, 10 JUNE 2014