University vice-chancellors continue to express alarm at the Abbott Government’s higher education shambles, with one describing it as “the worst piece of policy” he has seen in Australia in 26 years.
University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker has slammed the changes as:
“ … unfair, unethical, reckless, poor economic policy, contrary to the international evidence and being woefully explained, raising suspicions about how much thought has actually gone into them”.
Shadow Higher Education Minister Senator Kim Carr said Professor Parker had hit the nail on the head.
“The Abbott’s Government’s higher education package is ill-conceived, impractical and inequitable – the sooner it’s jettisoned the better,” Senator Carr said.
University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Peter Rathjen has also expressed concerns about the Abbott Government’s budget night “surprises” and “profound impacts”.
Professor Rathjen has warned an expected $30 million cut to funding could force his university to lift fees, drop courses and abandon research.
According to a press report today, “all options are on the table, with the university not ruling out campus closures”.
Senator Carr said, “This government isn’t just a short-sighted one it is a cruel one. The University of Tasmania, like many universities across the nation, isn’t in a position where it can recoup reductions in funding.”
Universities Australia CEO Belinda Robinson has also reiterated concerns in the sector about increasing levels of student debt and longer periods of payback
“... if we're not careful, what we will start to see is a situation where students are being deterred not only from participating in university study but from in fact taking time out of the workforce to do things like raise children, because it will be such a financial burden for them once they re-enter the work force”.
BELINDA ROBINSON - ABC LATELINE – 3 JUNE 2014
Senator Carr said, “There is a very loud chorus of concern from students, parents, universities and the wider community about the proposed changes.
“It’s time Mr Pyne actually listened to those concerns and stopped pretending his shambolic policy is anything but a very poorly considered attempt to shift costs on to students and their families and squeeze them dry.”
WEDNESDAY, 4 JUNE 2014