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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency)

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you, Professor Saunders. I noted you said that the staff numbers are currently 56, down 10. What were the staff numbers when TEQSA started?

Prof. Saunders : We had a staff level of about 100—not when we started, but we built up to staff level of about 100.

Senator RHIANNON: In what year, please?

Prof. Saunders : We started in 2012, so it would have been sometime during 2012 that those numbers built up.

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Department of Education and Training)

Senator RHIANNON: This morning when we were trying to explore some of the advertising issues, I asked some questions that I would like to return to. Principle 4 of the department's guidelines for expenditure on advertising states, 'Any campaign must be instigated on the basis of a demonstrated need.' It is a quote you would obviously know well. Other than the government's desperation to pass its legislation, what was the demonstrated need for this advertising campaign?

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Motion: Private Education Providers

Lee Rhiannon 12 Feb 2015

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:04): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the report published by the University of Sydney on 6 February 2015 which found that private education companies had made hundreds of millions of dollars in profit as a result of public subsidies at the same time that public funding for technical and further education was being slashed; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to immediately review the contestability funding model for vocational education and training and prioritise funding for public higher education.

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Greens call on Coalition to withdraw higher education bill

Lee Rhiannon 10 Feb 2015

The Australian Greens have called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to withdraw his government’s higher education Bill, as more university Vice-Chancellors speak out against fee deregulation. 

“The Coalition’s dream team of Vice Chancellors who back deregulation is slowly crumbling, with VC of Victoria University Peter Dawkins the latest to break ranks,” said Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Thousands of NSW residents tell Abbott and Pyne - ditch higher education cuts

Lee Rhiannon 9 Feb 2015

Two thousand New South Wales residents have joined the ‘1 Million Reasons' campaign to send key crossbench Senators a postcard asking them to vote down the Coalition government's higher education cuts.

Launched a month ago, already nearly six thousand Australians have joined the ‘1 Million Reasons' campaign. Postcards signed by students, former students and their allies all across Australia have been sent to each of the six cross bench Senators.

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Tony Abbott's higher education plan will see profits soar for private education companies

Lee Rhiannon 6 Feb 2015

Responding to a new study highlighting the profits private education companies are making as a result of public subsidies, Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"The opening up of huge amounts of public funding to private, for-profit education companies that was initiated by the Gillard Labor Government has been a disaster for vocational education.

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MEDIA ALERT: Senator Rhiannon in Alice Springs to attend higher education forum and meet with local activists

Lee Rhiannon 28 Jan 2015

WHAT: Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Rhiannon is in Alice Springs to discuss the Coalition government's higher education cuts and deregulation plans, at a community forum.

WHEN: 6.30pm Thursday 29 January 2015

WHERE: Andy McNeill Room, Alice Springs Town Council Building

Senator Rhiannon is also available to comment on her meetings with Pine Gap activists, local Aboriginal women, the Arid Lands Environment Centre and the Medical Association for the Prevention of War.

Media Contact: 0409 148 226

Lees office: 0487 350 880

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Abbott government's backer of deregulation was Chair of failed for-profit education provider Vocation

Lee Rhiannon 28 Jan 2015

Commenting on reports that John Dawkins is backing deregulation, Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"John Dawkins was a former chairman and shareholder of a private for profit vocational education and training company - Vocation - that is now subject to three class-action lawsuits and reportedly may never trade again.

"Mr Dawkins' endorsement of deregulation shows just how desperate the Abbott government is.

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