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Hewson demolishes Kemp's policies



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M I N I S T E R F O R

H igher E ducation and E mployment S ervices T H E HON. P E T E R B A L D W I N ( 9 . P .

B5/92 13 February 1992

HEWSON DEMOLISHES KEMP'S POLICIES

Opposition Leader John Hewson has demolished the rationale for the voucher system of higher education funding being pushed by his education spokesman, Dr Kemp, Higher Education Minister Peter Baldwin said today.

In the interview published in today's Age newspaper, Dr Hewson said that

"The second part of it [the problem of the higher education system] is a lot of confused signals to kids. The market for economists, financial experts and financial lawyers is shrinking, yet the kids are still ploughing out of schools and going after those sorts of

careers. And yet in maybe science, engineering and other fields they haven't given it the emphasis that you would have thought."

"This is precisely the sort of problem that a voucher scheme cannot handle and, indeed, would exacerbate," Mr Baldwin said.

"Vouchers only make any sense at all if you believe that students have a very good knowledge of the labour market circumstances likely to be facing them when they graduate.

"John Hewson clearly does not believe this fundamental premise of his own Party's policies.

"He is, therefore, giving backhanded support to the Government's system of higher education funding, including our nomination of national priority areas for growth," Mr Baldwin said.

Earlier in the same interview, Dr Hewson referred to the problem of unmet demand by saying

"Does the existing university structure really have the capacity in an infrastructure sense to handle those students if you could get them in?"

"This comment contradicts the claims by Dr Kemp, that a Coalition government could solve the unmet demand problem.

"In fact, all the Coalition policies would do is provide access to those who could afford fees while denying access to more qualified students who could not afford fees," Mr Baldwin said.

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