Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to reject recommendations in the Kemp-Norton review into demand driven funding calling for the system to be expanded to include private institutions and the abolition of participation targets.
"Minister Pyne can't bury his head in the sand and simply say the Government's response will be outlined in the budget," Senator Rhiannon said.
"The higher education sector is now facing a period of extreme uncertainty. The Kemp-Norton review is proposing a massive shakeup that will fundamentally change the way public universities operate in Australia.
"The review has calculated that the Coalition government's current higher education policies would rip $6.4 billion out of the university system.
"In addition, the review recommends abolishing participation targets that set a goal of 40% of young people having a Bachelor's degree by 2025 and 20% of all university students coming from a low socio-economic background.
"Most worryingly, the Kemp-Norton review is proposing to expose public universities to competition from the private sector by allow private institutions to access funding for Commonwealth Supported Places in a demand driven model.
"Our public universities are starved of funding already. The government should absolutely rule out proposals to redirect public money to private institutions.
"Such a move would simply be part of this government's ideological war on public education.
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