The University of the Sunshine Coast would be $51 million better off under Labor’s positive plan for Queensland universities than it would be under the Abbott/Turnbull plan for $100,000 degrees.


Under the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s plan to Americanise Australian universities, the University of the Sunshine Coast’s budget would be cut by $55 million and students burdened with a lifetime of debt.    

Unlike Malcolm Turnbull, who has “wholeheartedly” (2GB, 5 June 2014) committed to hitting students with $100,000 university degrees, Labor has a plan to invest in every Queensland student to ensure they graduate with the skills and knowledge needed to drive our economy and be prepared for the jobs of the future.

Speaking with students and academic staff at the University of the Sunshine Coast today, Shadow Minister for Higher Education Senator Kim Carr said Labor would boost Australia’s investment in every student by over $4000 per year by 2026, an increase of more than 40 per cent on the Liberals’ plan.

“Labor wants not only to see more Australian’s attending university, but also more to graduate, and without a lifetime of debt. According to new research, almost 25 per cent of students are leaving university with a debt but without a degree.” Senator Carr said.

Senator for Queensland Claire Moore said Labor had an ambitious plan to increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020.

“Labor is also committed to investing an additional $31 million in the sector regulator, Tertiary Education Quality Standards Australia, to ensure  there is a tough cop on the beat when it comes to course quality.” Senator Moore said.

“Labor wants to work with universities like the University of the Sunshine Coast to help them become more responsive to their local communities and to national priorities, especially with regard to the needs of the labour market.”

Only a Shorten Labor Government will deliver the crucial investment in universities that Queensland students need to prepare for the jobs of the future. 

Labor’s higher education policy builds on Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply and recent commitments, including:

  • Wiping student debt for up to 100,000 young people who graduate from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at university, especially women;

  • Introducing 25,000 teaching scholarships for highly skilled STEM graduates to go on to teach in our schools;

  • Creating a $500 million Smart Investment Fund to back-in great Australian ideas and help them compete on the world stage;

  • Delivering more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university;

  • Establishing an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy;

  • Creating a Startup Year at universities so students can develop their idea, get business knowhow and connect with finance;

  • Developing a National Digital Workforce Plan to tackle the crippling digital skills shortages confronting the country; and

  • Introducing two new visa classes to attract the best global entrepreneurial talent to help build Australia’s growing startup ecosystem.

For more information about Labor’s positive plan for universities visit

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