Education Minister Simon Birmingham must use his speech to the Universities Australia Conference dinner tonight to dump the Liberals’ plans for $100,000 degrees and present a policy that will provide funding certainty.

Unlike the Liberals, whose Budget papers continue to show they’re planning $12 billion in cuts and full deregulation of fees, Labor has a plan for sustainable university funding without $100,000 degrees.

Labor has been outlining its positive plan for higher education since September, a plan which will:

  1. Introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee, which will deliver $2,500 more per student than the Liberals, and remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt.

  2. Increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020.

  3. Invest $31 million in Tertiary Education Quality Standards Authority to boost the quality of teaching and resources in our universities.

  4. Establish an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy.

  5. Offer a Startup Year at university to young Australians looking to start their own enterprise.

  6. Boost the number of young Australians taking up STEM courses at university as well as offering 25,000 Teach STEM Scholarships and upskilling 25,000 teachers.

  7. Deliver more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university.

It’s time for Malcolm Turnbull and Simon Birmingham to end the uncertainty and let universities know if they’re finally going to dump their unfair and unnecessary Americanisation agenda.

Unlike the Liberals, Labor’s clear plan will invest in every student to ensure more Australians graduate with the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future.

Only Labor is committed to investing in higher education to create and sustain the jobs of the future.

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