The Greens have condemned the Abbott government for pouring $449.9 million into the coffers of private for profit higher education providers instead of public universities - a move that will cause student debt to sky rocket.
"The University of Western Australia's decision to charge $48,000 for an undergraduate degree is the start of a series of price hikes for student fees that for some will mean a lifetime of debt," said Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon.
"Under Christopher Pyne's higher education bill, students and families in Australia will be saddled with exorbitant debt while private higher education providers profit from public money that should be allocated to public universities.
"The Abbott government is giving $449.9 million to private higher education providers over three years at a time when the level of per student government funding in Australia is well below the OECD average.
"Increasing student fees and cutting funding to universities limit opportunities for young Australians.
"A country where only the wealthy can afford higher education is a poor country. A country with opportunity for all is a rich country.
"$100,000 fees are not going to be Tony Abbott's problem - they are going to be a burden on current students and future generations," said Senator Rhiannon.
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