Commenting on Sydney University Vice Chancellor Michael Spence’s plan for students who benefit from subsidised places to pay more for a degree, Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
“VC Spence’s plan would lead to a new elite within universities and risks the development of subprime degrees.
“Just as it appeared that the university sector could shake off the destructive and time-wasting deregulation debate Mr Spence is back pushing a plan to load the cost burden onto students.
“Mr Spence is silent on the most critical issue harming university and technical education – the entry of private for-profit companies into the education sector.
“Private for-profit companies are a ‘cancer’ within the education sector.
“Mr Spence does raise the critical issue of student support. However, given the fact that increasing student fees is the VC’s central policy plank, his concern for disadvantaged students looks like cover for another attempt to pull the Pyne plan out of its grave.
“VC Spence’s comments just add to the uncertainty that thousands of NSW Year 12 high school students and their families are facing as they consider their education future,” Senator Rhiannon said.