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Cuts to student numbers short changes Australia.



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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

19.01.04

Cuts to student numbers short changes Australia

Greens Education spokesperson, Senator Kerry Nettle, today accused the federal government of leaving Australia at a disadvantage by failing to fund university places for tens of thousands of qualified applicants.

"For a fraction of the cost of the $4-a-week tax cut we got in the last budget the government could have funded places for the thousands of school leavers who will miss out today," Senator Nettle said.

"Thousands of families will be questioning the benefit of their $4-a-week tax cut in light of the disappointment of missing out on a university place.

"Such an investment would deliver a huge return for Australia, but this government is too short-sighted to recognise this fact.

"Ultimately these unsuccessful applicants represent a wasted opportunity for this country to grow culturally and economically.

"The public school system in particular is generating more and more students qualified to attend university, but the government is letting them down by refusing to fund the places they have worked hard to secure.

"The Greens have been lobbying for a significant investment in higher education including $700 million to fund 50,000 new places to address unmet demand.

"Today's squeeze on places will result in higher minimum admission scores in a sad return to an elitist system of higher education."

Contact Jon Edwards - 0428 213 146