The Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill rips billions out of funding for public universities and will drive up student fees in order to offer public subsidies to private, for-profit providers said Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon.
"This Bill slams the door on hundreds of thousands of future students who see higher education as a pathway to opportunity," Senator Rhiannon said.
"This isn't about reform - it's about slashing more than $5 billion in funding and widening the gap between wealthy metropolitan universities and small and regional universities that are crucial to Australia's economic and social development.
"Public polling has repeatedly demonstrated the community has rejected the government's right-wing, ideological attack on public higher education.
"Mr Pyne has caused enormous anxiety amongst students and parents over the past few months and the Greens will move to end the uncertainty by proposing this Bill is debated and voted down as soon it reaches the Senate.
"By lifting the cap on the total debt an individual student can accrue, Mr Pyne is making it explicit that he expects student fees to rise substantially.
"The government has already acknowledged that the so called Commonwealth Scholarships scheme will only exist if universities increase their fees by at least 20 per cent.
"This is a Bill that will close the door on opportunity for students and parents and gut the public university system but deliver a windfall of almost half a billion dollars to private, for-profit providers," Senator Rhiannon said.