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ALP must ensure universities are better off.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Democrats Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Higher Education

Dated: 23 November 2007 Portfolio: Higher Education

ALP must ensure universities are better off

The Australian Democrats have expressed concern over a lack of compensation offered to universities under Labor's proposal to abolish full-fee degrees for domestic undergraduates.

"The Democrats have long argued that full-fee degrees are inequitable because not all students have the means to take advantage of that option. We support Labor taking action to abolish full-fee degrees if they win office," Democrats' Spokesperson on Higher Education Senator Natasha Stott Despoja said.

"It has to be recognised that full-fee degrees are a small but important source of income for universities, given there has been more than a decade of systemic under-funding by the Government.

"The Democrats have always felt that the abolition of full-fee degrees would need to be offset by a guaranteed boost in financial support for tertiary institutions.

"Labor's so-called Education Revolution will ring very hollow if the financial resources of our universities are stretched any further.

"Universities are critical to our future competitiveness but they have been forgotten during this campaign.

"It makes me wonder about the claims by either major party to be able to position our economy for the future," Senator Stott Despoja said.