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Greens call for extension of whistle-blower protections to private higher education providers

The Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon today announced that the Greens would legislate to strengthen national whistle-blower laws to guarantee anonymity and immunity to those from the private sector for the first time.

"Recent events in the higher education sector have highlighted the inadequacies in Australia's current whistle-blower protection regime.

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Deregulation + HecsWatch - Pyne's Higher Education Bill

Lee Rhiannon 1 Dec 2014

Commenting on Christopher Pyne's amendments to the Higher Education bill Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"Christopher Pyne's desperate attempts to force through his damaging plans to deregulate student fees and cut university funding should be scrapped in its entirety because it will hurt students, staff and the community.

"Christopher Pyne's amendments don't provide the protection they seem to offer - giving the ACCC ‘price monitoring powers' will result in a higher education equivalent of the much derided ‘FuelWatch' scheme.

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Greens win Senate inquiry into private vocational education and training providers

Lee Rhiannon 24 Nov 2014

The Australian Senate today unanimously passed a Greens motion moved by higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon to establish an inquiry into the operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training providers in Australia.

Senator Rhiannon said: "This inquiry is urgently needed as governments across Australia are ripping hundreds of millions of dollars out of TAFE funding - leading to hundreds of job losses and massive fee increases for students.

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An open letter to Universities Australia

Lee Rhiannon 24 Nov 2014

MEDIA COMMENT
24 November 2014

In response to a letter sent from Universities Australia to all crossbench Senators today, Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon has published the following reply:

An open letter to Universities Australia

Dear Universities Australia,

Like you, the Greens are very aware that without strong and sustainable universities, Australia risks being left behind.

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NSW unis set to lose $1.3 billion - Greens' plan to vote down higher education cuts

Lee Rhiannon 17 Nov 2014

The Greens will move to vote down the Coalition's higher education cuts immediately when they are debated in the Senate this week.

Greens spokesperson for Higher Education Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has written to Labor Senator Kim Carr and the Palmer Uniter Party leader Clive Palmer proposing that when the Bill is up for debate in the Senate, ‘the Palmer United Party, the Greens, Labor and other Senators opposed to this legislation combine to vote it down'.

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Chronic under funding of unis forces reliance on high fee paying international students

Lee Rhiannon 13 Nov 2014

Commenting on the essays-for-cash scandal Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"The Greens do not condone any type of academic misconduct, but this scandal reveals the underbelly of a higher education system heavily reliant on high fee paying international students.

"Coalition and Labor governments have underfunded our universities for decades, making them more reliant on student fees - particularly international student fees.

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Public funding for private providers should be redirected to TAFE

Lee Rhiannon 7 Nov 2014

The Greens have welcomed the call from TAFE Directors for the Senate to block public funding being awarded to private education providers and want an end to the "contestability model" that has seen millions of dollars flow to private vocational providers at the expense of TAFE.

"Reports that only 20 per cent of the 1515 private education providers audited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority complied fully with standards during 2013-14 highlight the problems inherent in a system of privatised education," said Greens higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.

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Hockey shows up Pyne - admits higher education bill is a $5 billion budget saving

Lee Rhiannon 5 Nov 2014

The Greens have said Treasurer Joe Hockey's admission that the five billion dollar cuts to higher education is a budget saving measure sends a clear message to the crossbench Senators to vote out the Pyne bill.

"Mr Hockey's statement that ‘We'll find any way we can to take the money out of the universities' reveals exactly what the Abbott Government's so called reforms are - savings for a Coalition fabricated budget emergency," said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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