In May this year, Prime Minister Abbott and the federal coalition government showed their true colours to the Australian people as they handed down the most unfair, damaging, misleading and socially divisive budget this country has seen.
While Mr Abbott arrogantly continues to tell us this is what we need, leaders from across all sectors are repeatedly explaining the damaging effects it will have across the country.
In the university sector a number of chancellors and vice-chancellors, particularly from regional universities, have detailed the damaging effects deregulation of the sector will have.
Deakin University vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander recently labelled the Abbott government’s planned changes to student higher education contribution scheme loans as ‘extraordinarily aggressive’, ‘punitive’ and ‘unfair’.
As a result of the Abbott-Hockey budget, student fees will soar by up to 30 per cent just to cover the $1.1 billion cuts to funding to help Australians obtain a tertiary education. Along with this, the deregulation of the university market means that course costs will most certainly rise, with predictions that some will go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It will create a two-tiered university system that will be socially damaging for this country. Deregulation will significantly disadvantage regional universities, which do not have the competitive pull of large metropolitan universities. Regional universities have a much thinner market and a higher percentage of disadvantaged students, which renders it difficult for a market to operate.
The latest modelling suggests that while top universities will continue make money, regional universities will struggle to break even — —
The PRESIDENT — Order! The member’s time has expired.