Abbott Government still fails the fairness test on universities

Five months ago, the Government announced its plan to cut $5.8 billion from universities and allow universities to charge students as much as they like.

The plan raises the prospect of $100,000 degrees, and the end of the fair go that Australians rightly expect.

This isn’t some kind of myth. NATSEM modelling based on the University of Western Australia’s fee schedule for 2016 found female teachers and nurses would face $100,000 debts, which would take 24 years or more to pay off.

That’s why these unfair changes have failed to win unqualified approval from anyone – even those in the higher education sector who have the most to gain.

Education is absolutely essential to opportunity in Australia and our economic growth and future; Tony Abbott’s broken promise on higher university fees will put all that at risk.

Under the Government’s plan, a university education would become a privilege of the rich, not the door to opportunity for individuals and the nation.

In Question Time today, the Prime Minister showed that the Government has learned nothing in five months.

He said that his Government would stick with its plan.

”What we are proposing to do is to liberate our universities to be the very best they can be.  It is what we are proposing would be good for universities and good for the students of Australia.”


He said university students should pay more for their degrees because they will earn more than people without degrees.

He didn’t mention that those who do earn more will also pay more tax.

And he ignored the fact that the whole nation benefits from having a better educated workforce.

He could not face the truth: that these changes would make Australia would become a less equal, less clever society.

But no one has been fooled. The Government must abandon its plan, and think again.


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