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Group of Eight modelling is case for increasing funding not fees

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 13 Oct 2014

The Greens say the Group of Eight's new modelling which shows that nearly 60 000 new students will need to be enrolled in universities by 2017 to compensate for budget cuts, should be used as a case for an increase to funding, not deregulation.

"The Group of Eight, which represents eight of the wealthiest universities in Australia, have been pushing for fee deregulation because it will allow them to charge students a higher price for their degrees," said Greens Higher Education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"$100,000 degrees are not going to impact the Group of Eight's Vice-Chancellors. Nor will they affect Tony Abbott or Christopher Pyne.

"It will be Australian students and their families that are going to carry the burden of this huge financial debt which will strip away opportunity and freedom.

"Australian universities are severely underfunded. Australia's expenditure as a proportion of GDP is the second lowest in the OECD.

"What is urgently needed is an injection of public money into our higher education system, so that our universities continue to be world class and accessible - not elitist and exclusive.

"As the Group of Eight has pointed out, while the Government wants to cut $1.6 billion from universities, they are handing out nearly $550 million to private providers over the forward estimates.

"Instead of their narrow tunnel vision, the Group of Eight should be working for an Australia which is a country with opportunity for all, not just the wealthy," Senator Rhiannon said.


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