Contrary to claims from Universities Australia and Christopher Pyne, there is an alternative to the sweeping and unfair changes to higher education proposed by the Abbott Government: better funding.
“The notion that the Senate must pass Mr Pyne’s changes or doom the sector to failure is misguided,” said Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President.
“Both Universities Australia and Minister Pyne have forgotten the myriad of reviews calling for greater public investment in tertiary education, most recently the Base Funding Review, which recommended a minimum increase of 10%. Instead we are being presented with a 20% cut in funding.
“Cutting investment in higher education will not assist universities in competing with international institutions, especially those in Asia whose growth is largely being funded through greater public investment, not cuts to public investment as is the case in Australia.
“Pyne’s reforms, like similar to those of VET in Victoria, are destined to fail and would force down the quality of education as universities struggle to find savings, or force up the fees of students making quality university education unfair and affordable for many.
“This unfair policy must be dumped. If Australia is to compete for the jobs of the future, students need to be able to access quality, well-funded education, regardless of their postcode or background.
“More university graduates means a healthier tax base, and more doctors, teachers, engineers and nurses.”