One million hits on Greens new ‘What will my degree cost?' website while VCs unite against Coalition's reforms
The Greens are calling on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to scrap his plans to cut more than $5 billion out of university funding and increase fees for students following Universities Australia's extraordinary intervention into the debate.
The Greens new website ‘What will my degree cost?' has been accessed over one million times since it was launched yesterday afternoon. 250,000 people have used the website to estimate how much their degrees will cost as a result of the Coalition's regressive changes.
"The phenomenal response to our website shows that enormous numbers of students, graduates, future students and their families are very worried about the Coalition Government's brutal budget cuts to higher education," said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.
"It is extremely concerning that the average increase in fees the site has calculated is $44,500 and the average increase in repayment time is 5 years.
"These changes are going to have severe financial repercussions on students and their families. Right now parents across Australia are wondering how their kids will afford to go to university.
"Today Vice Chancellors, many of whom have been pushing for deregulation, are calling on the Minister for Education to rethink his reforms, particularly the proposal to increase interest rates on student debt and direct cuts to Commonwealth grants.
"The Greens have consistently opposed all of the funding cuts to higher education announced as part of the 2014 budget.
"While we're glad to see Vice-Chancellor's line up against key elements of the Coalition's reforms, we believe universities should put students first and oppose fee deregulation.
"Women, people from disadvantaged backgrounds and low income earners will be the hardest hit by these cuts.
"The campaign against these cuts is growing and the Greens will continue to stand alongside students, university staff and the community in fighting them.
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