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No benefits for students in UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s posturing on entrance scores

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 19 Jul 2013

Vice Chancellor Fred Hilmer’s announcement of a minimum entrance score for all courses at the University of NSW is a distraction from the real issue impacting education equality, which is a lack of funding for universities and student support, Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said. (The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/university-of-nsw-cuts-...)

“Mr Hilmer’s unilateral move to prohibit students with an ATAR below 80 from enrolling at UNSW is a self-serving manoeuvre promoted to artificially boost the university’s reputation,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“The Greens, the Student Representative Council at UNSW and the National Union of Students are opposed to this move that will exclude capable students and will do nothing to improve quality.

“This announcement seems to be driven by Vice-Chancellor Hilmer’s desire to be seen as a ‘mover and shaker’ more than anything.

“It is disappointing that Mr Hilmer has broken ranks with the growing call for the $2.3 billion cuts to be restored and for a funding increase for our universities.

“The real issue impacting higher education quality is a lack of funding at a federal government level due to the failure to increase base funding.

“The situation has been made worse by the recent $2.3 billion cuts to universities initiated by Labor and backed by the Coalition, and also the corporatised university management regimes that are slashing courses and casualising their workforce.

“If UNSW wants students from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve high results, as Mr Hilmer states in today’s article, he should ensure university staff have adequate resources, pay and conditions, reduce student-teacher ratios and stop cutting courses and back calls for greater support for students,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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