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EDUCATION—HIGHER EDUCATION CONTRIBUTION SCHEME

Senator Stott Despoja amended general business notice of motion no. 926 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) to date, 23 universities have announced that they will increase their higher education contribution scheme (HECS) fees, most of them by the full 25 per cent across all disciplines,

  (ii) increasing HECS fees will further deter students from low socio-economic backgrounds,

  (iii) all three South Australian universities will increase HECS fees by 25 per cent in 2005, severely impacting student choice in South Australia, and

  (iv) by 2008, the Government's policy `Backing Australia's future: Our universities' will have shifted more than $1 billion of the costs of higher education to students through HECS increases and increases in domestic full-fee paying student numbers;

 (b) supports students in their attempts to prevent the remaining universities from increasing HECS fees; and

 (c) condemns the Government for under-funding universities for the past 8 years to such an extent that universities are now turning to students to provide a short-term increase in funding.

Question put and passed.