Responding to reports that the Abbott government will force universities to compete with private colleges through fee deregulation, Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
"Fee deregulation is code for increasing student fees. Minister Pyne should prepare himself for more student protests over his fee deregulation policy, and such actions are now urgently needed.
"Allowing Australia's highest ranked universities to jack up their fees so the government can subsidise private colleges is disgraceful, particularly in the face of $2.3 billion in cuts to universities that will increase the debt of the most disadvantaged students by up to 50%.
"The Coalition's vision for Australia is an unequal, unfair and elitist education system.
"Treasury has previously costed the Greens' policy of abolishing student fees at $2.5 billion a year. We should be supporting young Australians wanting to learn instead of giving $13 billion in tax concessions to big mining companies.
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