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Time to start again on higher education reforms

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 24 Oct 2014

The Greens have called on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to withdraw the government's higher education bill now before the Senate and commit to reforms that ensure higher education provides opportunity for all rather than privilege for the few.

"Minister Pyne has backed a loser with his higher education bill and it is time he scrapped it," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"The Pyne bill mark 2 makes no significant changes to the current legislation. He is attempting to con cross bench Senators.

"Pyne's proposed changes still rely on severe funding cuts to universities and put a massive fee burden on students.

"Fee deregulation must go. A system that would create degrees with a $100,000 or more price tag is clearly bad policy.

"The Minister's offer to drop the plan to link student debt to the ten year government bond rate is no solution.

"The Liberal/National government have not listened to the growing voice of concern about the higher education changes from university staff, students and their families.

"I am regularly contacted by parents who are fearful that their children will miss out on a university education because of the high fee cost.

"The Minister has failed to shift on one of the most damaging aspects of bill, the massive funding boost for private companies to profit from money once earmarked for universities. This needs to be scrapped not just delayed.

"$450 million is earmarked for 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," said Senator Rhiannon.

Contact: Brami Jegan 0487 350 880


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