Labor is disturbed by today’s reports of declining standards in student enrolments and is calling for university entrance requirements to be more transparent so that students can make informed choices based on evidence. 

We are still seeing reports of universities admitting students with ATARs as low as 30, well below the advertised cut off.

Research shows that almost half of all students who go to university with an ATAR below 60 fail to complete their university studies and are being left with a debt and no degree. 

Labor has consistently said that universities cannot be content with just getting first-years signed up – they have a responsibility to support all students to succeed in their studies.

Quality must define our education system.

It is not satisfactory for universities to enrol students they know are likely to struggle with university, only to see them drop out after accruing a debt.  

Today's reports also confirm again that excess demand for university placed has largely been absorbed and enrolment numbers are set to plateau, undermining the Liberals' supposed rationale for 20 per cent funding cuts and deregulation. 

Rather than continuing to pursue their unfair and unnecessary plan for $100,000 degrees, the Liberals must now act to ensure more students complete university.          

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

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.

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

  7. Boost the number of young Australians taking up STEM courses at university as well as upskilling 25,000 teachers.

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

Read more here www.futuresmartaustralia.org.

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