The National Union of Students condemns the Coalition government’s attempt to fast-track a package of University fee increases and funding cuts through parliament. The package includes cutting $2.8 billion from higher education funding, increasing University students’ fees by 7.5%, and lowering the HECS repayment threshold from $52,000 to $42,000.
The National Union of Students Education Officer, Anneke D’emanuele says:
“This means students will be paying more for a worse quality education. Then as young workers we will be forced to pay back our debt on a McDonald’s salary. What ever happened to a fair go?”
The National Union of Students believe this policy is being pushed through parliament on short notice because of how unpopular it is.
According to D’emanuele:
“This Liberal government knows how unpopular it is to go after students. An Essential poll shows 60% of people oppose these fee increases, and 56% of people oppose these funding cuts. If the government cared what we think, they wouldn’t be pushing these changes through.”
Funding cuts to Universities are set to impact the quality of student’s education, as well as the conditions of staff employed at Australian universities. In an unprecedented attack on staff rights, 3,500 employees at Murdoch University recently had their enterprise agreement terminated, reducing their salary by 25-39% and cutting at least 70 conditions.
The National Union of Students stands in solidarity with University staff and the National Tertiary Education Union.