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Baldwin Turns a Blind Eye to the Facts



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

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368 Centre Road. Bentleigh, Vic. 3204 Tel: (03) 557 4644 Fax: (03) 557 2906

MEDIA RELEASE 15 OCTOBER 1992

BALDWIN TURNS A BLIND EYE TO THE FACTS

In answer to a "Dorothy Dixer" during Question Time today, the Minister for Higher Education and Employment Services, Mr Baldwin, exhibited an alarming propensity to ignore facts.

The fact is, contrary to the Minister's lies, it is not Coalition policy to introduce up-front fees for all students. Mr Baldwin is attempting to obscure the fact that the Government has already introduced fees for all students. The difference is that instead of the Government fbeing the fee, under our policy, universities will be given the flexibility to set

the fee.

The fact is, contrary to the Minister's lies, we have undertaken to deliver to universities at least the same real funding per student place, and would fund at least as many places as are currently funded or projected.

The fact is, contrary to the Minister's lies, a Coalition government would retain the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and allow students to defer fees.

The fact is, under Coalition funding proposals for higher education, universities will have the flexibility to vary the level of the student contribution up or down, in response to demand and course costs.

As the Director of Ballarat University College, Professor John Sharpham, has recently acknowledged, institutions - particularly smaller regional institutions - would benefit if they were allowed to set their fees above or below the present HECS fee.

The Minister has obviously been stung into action by my criticism of the gross inequity of the Government's prohibition on universities admitting Australian students to additional unfunded places.

In doing so, I pointed out that 50,000 qualified school leavers have been locked out of a university education because the Government continues to prevent institutions from , admitting Australian students while encouraging the admission of overseas students.

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COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY L I B R A R Y MICAH

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The Department of Employment, Education and Training has conceded that a freer system will be a better resourced system and therefore more able to address overcrowding, the damaging decline in infrastructure and the deterioration in conditions for academics that are a feature under Labor's centralised and highly regulated policies.

Fightback! will deliver this freedom.

Further information : Richard Fills (06) 277 2037

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