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     5   University funding and fees

Ms Plibersek, pursuant to notice, moved—That this House:

(1)        notes that:

(a)        in the coming weeks, more than one million Australians will resume their university studies for the 2017 academic year;

(b)        the Government’s failure to release its plans for university funding and fees is creating uncertainty for students planning to commence their studies in 2018 and beyond;

(c)        Australian students already pay some of the highest university fees in the OECD;

(d)        increasing fees will leave young Australians with significant debt burdens; and

(e)        paying off significant debt puts extra pressure on young Australians at critical times in their lives, like when they are saving for a house or considering starting a family; and

(2)        calls on the Government to:

(a)        end the uncertainty facing students and their parents and finally make it clear, after nine months of inaction, what its plans are for higher education funding and fees from 2018;

(b)        rule out significant fee increases;

(c)        abandon its 20 per cent cut to university grants;

(d)        reverse its short-sighted cuts to the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program; and

(e)        confirm that it will prevent the Americanisation of our university system through higher fees and higher student debt.

Debate ensued.

The time allotted for the debate having expired, the debate was interrupted, and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting.