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Greens Safeguard Core ALTC Functions

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 17 Feb 2011

The Australian Greens have ensured that the core functions of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) remain separate from the Government's proposed quality framework, as part of their negotiations over the Flood Levy, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"Following the Government's announcement that it planned to roll the ALTC into its proposed Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) many leading academics and universities expressed concern that the core functions of the ALTC would no longer be performed separately," said the Greens Education Spokesperson, Senator Hanson-Young.

"It was simply not appropriate for academics to lose the scope to encourage excellence through a review and awards process that was at arm's length from the Government's proposed regulator."

"The Greens are strongly opposed to the key functions of the ALTC such as citations for excellence in teaching and peer reviews and acknowledgements, becoming absorbed by TEQSA and have reached agreement with the Government to ensure that this does not occur. "

"Through our negotiations with Government, we've ensured that peer review and the fostering of excellence is not simply rolled into the Governments' quality standards body. Rather they will remain separate functions performed under the administration of DEEWR."

The Greens and the Government agreed to further discussions about the arrangements that will be put in place to ensure these ALTC functions will be carried out.

"Along with this, the Greens have also won support from Government to continue the National Rental Affordability Scheme post 2015 - maintaining this as a key affordable accommodation option for students and giving universities certainty."

"We do not support cuts to education and were disappointed that these were on the table. While managing to safeguard some of the ALTC's key functions, we remain disappointed that funding for the Capital Development Pool will still be cut. We will continue to argue that the education budget is not the place for Government to turn when it needs more money in the kitty."

"The Greens are committed to promoting excellence and quality in education, at all levels. The outcomes we have negotiated today play a role in furthering this," Senator Hanson-Young said.

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