Labor has today announced another tranche of its innovation policy – a policy that will create more job-ready university graduates with practical industry experience.   

The new measures to support Australia’s startup sector complement Labor’s fair and sustainable higher education plan announced on Monday.

Labor’s policies are all about increasing the number of students who complete degrees with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in the innovation economy of the 21st century.   

Labor has received overwhelming support for our positive plan for universities that will see 20,000 more university graduates every year, not $100,000 degrees.

Labor’s positive plan has left the Turnbull Liberal Government scrambling. Do they stay true to their core value of university deregulation and stick with their 20 per cent funding cut, or do they admit that the Australian people and the Senate were right all along, and go back to the drawing board?

Key higher education bodies have welcomed Labor’s positive plan with Universities Australia, the Group of Eight, the Australian Technology Network, the Innovative Research Universities and the Regional University Network all expressing support for Labor’s Student Funding Guarantee.

Universities support Labor’s commitment to guarantee funding for teaching and learning…

Universities Australia Press Release, 21st September 2015

In particular, the ALP policy recognises the need for predictable funding for universities.  We are especially pleased by the commitment to consultation through a Green and White paper process.  As the Group of Eight has long argued, it is time to sort out funding problems and put the sector on a sustainable footing

Vicki Thomson, Executive Director, Group of Eight Media Release, 21st September 2015

The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) welcomes today’s higher education funding announcement by the Opposition, as sustainable ongoing funding is critical to ensure all Australians who are eligible can obtain a university education.

Australian Technology Network of Universities Media Release, 21st September 2015

These proposals build upon the groundwork that Labor had put in place when in government.  We endorse in particular Labor’s commitment to continue the demand driven system and to augment government funding per student. 

Innovative Research Universities Media Release, 21st September 2015

Students and unions have also welcomed Labor’s plan, with support from the National Tertiary Education Union, National Union of Students and the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.

“The ALP’s higher education policy will maintain one of the essential characteristics of our world class public university system which is that entry into one of these universities will continue to be based on merit,”

NTEU Press Release, 21st September 2015

And individual Vice Chancellors from around the country have also expressed support and relief that there is now a real plan that sustains public investment in our world class university system.

While the Liberal Government thrashes around in an attempt to escape its disastrous deregulation plan, Labor has a positive plan for more graduates, not $100,000 degrees.

A Shorten Labor Government will invest in every student to ensure they graduate with the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future, not a debt sentence.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

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

2.   deliver more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university

3.   introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt

4.   invest $31 million to boost the quality of teaching and resources  in our universities

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

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