The federal government's proposed changes to university fees and funding will slam thousands of students with whopping 113 per cent fee hikes, and cut Commonwealth funding to the detriment of all.
The 'Job-ready Graduates Package' involves a $700+ million cut to teaching and learning.
This will have devastating impacts for higher education across the country, including regional cities and towns like Armidale where university campuses are often the employment and cultural lifeblood of communities.
As one of the few career engineers in Parliament, the government's stated intent of seeing more students studying STEM is near and dear to my heart. But I'm deeply concerned this package will simply deprive universities of the funds to deliver quality degrees - science, engineering or otherwise - while forcing thousands of humanities students to accumulate much more study debt which will take them decades to pay off.
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University staff are already going through a tough time, shut out of JobKeeper with as many as 30,000 jobs on the chopping block.
Young people are bearing the brunt of the impacts of Covid-19.
It's time to call out the government on their hypocrisy. We must defeat this unfair and illogical attack on universities, their staff and students.
Education is a public good and a human right. Let's make corporations pay their tax and make university and TAFE fee-free for all students throughout their lives.