Even if the Abbott Government backflips on its 20 per cent cut in university funding, it doesn’t change the Government’s intention to dramatically increase the cost of university degrees.
Shadow Higher Education Minister Kim Carr said even if today’s reports of yet another backflip are correct, the Government’s higher education changes would still allow universities to charge any fees they wanted.
“This is only a change in tactics, not a change of policy,” Senator Carr said.
“The prospect of steep university fee rises is clearer than ever before.
“Labor believes hard work and good marks should be the only criteria for university, not how much your parents earn.
“The Government is still intent on Americanising the higher education system – that’s what the Abbott Government means when it cries ‘deregulation’.
“This reported change in tactics demonstrates the same kind of duplicity and the same kind of ineptitude we have seen in the Government’s backflips over the GP tax.
“The Government is flip-flopping around, trying to find a more attractive way to sell its ideological destruction of Australia’s great public institutions – Medicare and the public university system.
“But the bottom line remains: Giving vice-chancellors a blank cheque to charge whatever fees they want is unfair to students, bad for the economy and bad for Australia,” Senator Carr said.
“Australia cannot afford to price tens of thousands of young people out of a university degree and out of a good job.
“There is no doubt it would lead to massive increases in HELP debts and further Budget cuts.
“The spectre of $100,000 degrees still hangs over Australian students and Labor won’t support students being gouged in this way.”