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TAFE cuts in NSW budget call for national reform

Lee Rhiannon 24 Jun 2015

Off the back of the savage TAFE cuts in the NSW budget, the Greens are calling on the Abbott government and the Labor opposition to agree to rewrite COAG agreements so TAFE can again be a well-resourced public vocational education and training provider.

"News that NSW TAFE numbers have plummeted in the past three years, a trend occurring around the country, highlights the need for the federal government to urgently change the federal rules TAFE operates under," Greens technical and higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

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Christopher Pyne delivers another win for private education sector

Lee Rhiannon 17 Jun 2015

Responding to the Abbott government's changes to student visa applications, Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"The only winners under this new scheme will be the private colleges who can again tap into a stream of international students.

"International student numbers are growing strongly under the existing regime - up more than 11 per cent compared to 2014.

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Greens launch Western Sydney 'stop TAFE privatisation' tour

Lee Rhiannon 12 Jun 2015

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW MP John Kaye will be visiting Western Sydney TAFE campuses today to call on local state and federal MPs, both Labor and Liberal, to stop their parties' push to privatise TAFE.

The Greens will meet with students, staff, teachers and community members to discuss how the competitive funding reforms are decimating TAFE in Western Sydney.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "Despite the critical importance of TAFE to Western Sydney, its future is now in question.

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Liberal Party willingly take political donations from university that Abbott govt funds

Lee Rhiannon 4 Jun 2015

Despite Liberal and Labor MPs receiving generous political donations from three NSW universities the Abbott government has failed to recognise that this is an abuse of public funding, Greens higher education and democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

Last night in Senate estimates, Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham and Associate Secretary Robert Griew were questioned by Senator Rhiannon about political donations made by universities.

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Australian Skills and Quality Authority)

Lee Rhiannon 3 Jun 2015

Senator RHIANNON: I want to clarify those figures. I am interested in since 25 February; you would obviously remember the date when the minister announced ASQA would undertake an audit of 23 RTOs. Have any audits into other RTOs been launched since then?

Mr Robinson : Yes. In terms of our audits, I will get that information for you.

Senator RHIANNON: Can you tell us which RTOs too, please?

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Australian Research Council)

Lee Rhiannon 3 Jun 2015

Senator RHIANNON: I would like to ask about the Industrial Transformation Research Program. I understand that the purpose of this $40 million program is to foster closer collaboration between industries and universities. What I am trying to understand is whether the research hubs based at the universities are collaborating with specific businesses or just industry in a generic sense?

Prof. Byrne : I would like to perhaps table this document-

CHAIR: Hello! You can tell it is Education today!

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Greens welcome Universities Australia u-turn on deregulation

Lee Rhiannon 1 Jun 2015

The Australian Greens have welcomed Universities Australia's call for increased government funding to the higher education sector, and applaud their decision to withdraw support for the Abbott government's policy of university fee deregulation.

"With Universities Australia withdrawing support for deregulation, the Abbott government should acknowledge it has lost its main support base and drop its proposals to increase fees and cut public funding" said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Abbott govt in $65million blackmail to South Australia over vocational education

Penny Wright 29 May 2015

The Australian Greens say the Abbott government has again sided with private interests over public education in its decision to withhold money from South Australia because of the states' new policy of prioritising TAFE in the provision of training.

Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon today said: "The South Australian government has started to realise the significant problems associated with the current national partnership agreement on training and have moved to prioritise the public sector, something the federal government should take on board.

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Pyne's copy and paste budget fails students, staff and the community

Lee Rhiannon 13 May 2015

The Australian Greens have said the Abbott government has learned nothing from its two failed attempts at deregulating Australian universities, slashing billions from higher education and pouring public money into the coffers of private higher education companies, with all these measures back in the 2015 budget.

"Universities are again set to receive a 20 per cent cut while the Abbott government has restated its commitment to handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to private, for-profit education companies," said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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