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Transcript of doorstop interview: Thursday 22 May 2003: Sydney: university places.



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Transcript Jenny MacklinMP

Acting Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Employment, Education, Training & Science Federal Member for Jagajaga

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP - SYDNEY THURSDAY 22 MAY 2003

E & OE - PROOF ONLY

Subjects: University places

MACKLIN: Brendan Nelson has been saying that in his new package there are 31,000 new places for Australian students in our universities. This is just not true. In fact, when you look at the detailed numbers, there are just over 2,000 new places for Australian students at our universities, and that 2,000 won’t come in until about 2010.

Next year, in 2004, there will only be 444 new places. So Brendan Nelson needs to come clean and tell the truth, that there still will be thousands of Australian students who want to get into university and can’t get a place.

JOURNALIST: How have you got to the bottom of this creative accounting?

MACKLIN: It is creative accounting on Brendan Nelson’s part. What he is doing is counting the number of students that are currently at our universities but not properly funded. Many of our universities have thousands of students who are what is called “over-enrolled” and the government has not been properly funding the universities for those students. This package counts the funding that goes towards fixing that problem but they are not new places, they will not provide additional places for Australian students who want to get to university.

JOURNALIST: What will it mean for someone trying to get to university over the next few years? How much harder will it be?

MACKLIN: What it shows is that next year there is only 444 additional places. We know that about 20,000 Australians were qualified but couldn’t get a place at university this year. We expect that to be higher next year.

What it means is thousands of Australian students who want to go to university, who are qualified, won’t get in.

More information: Adrian Rollins, 0438 950 375