Gouging students won’t fix funding crisis

The Federal Education Minister has failed to provide a funding plan that secures the critical research and learning undertaken by Australian universities.

NTEU National President, Alison Barnes said:

“While we welcome expanded students places and lower fees in some disciplines, Minister Dan Tehan appears to be going out of his way to avoid properly funding universities. Instead he has outlined a plan to massively hike fees for humanities, law and commerce, asking students in those disciplines to bail out the Government and do its job for it.

“Australian universities have seen more than $4.5 billion in revenue destroyed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In their greatest ever crisis, the Minister appears more interested in fomenting controversy than grappling with this difficult reality.

“The future of Australian research and learning demands a substantial funding package, not a cynical attempt to gouge certain cohorts of students for more money.

“Dan Tehan has effectively told students studying humanities, law and commerce that they should fund the cost of the pandemic. This is unconscionable.

“Australian university students already pay some of the highest tuition fees in the developed world. Our university funding is already tilted toward students and away from government.

“The government must go back to the drawing board. Students are already shouldering too much of the funding burden.”

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