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"Decision to remove support for residential Colleges ill-conceived"



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LIBERAL

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News Release Federal Secretariat: P.O. Box E 13, Queen Victoria Terrace. A.C.T. 2600 Tel.: (062)73 2564

SENATOR PETER BAUME

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND YOUTH AFFAIRS

"Decision to remove support for Residential Colleges ill-conceived"

The Opposition Spokesman for Education and Youth Affairs, Senator Peter Baume, today attacked the decision by the Hawke Government to phase out support for students attending residential colleges at Australia's Universities and ' Colleges of Advanced Education.

Speaking at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Australian University Colleges in Melbourne, Senator Baume said the decision was based on the false assumption that students at those colleges represented the 'privileged1 and

'financially elite' of tertiary students.

"Recent survey results have shown that this is quite clearly not the case".

Senator Baume .said the decision ignored the findings in Professor David Beswick's survey of students in Australian University Residential Colleges and Halls.

That survey found, amongst other things that:

- more than 80% of college students came from non metropolitan areas;

- in terms of social and educational backgrounds, they did not appear to be especially privileged and were typical of university students in general; and

- the Colleges played an important role in acclimatising students, particularly those from rural and isolated areas, to a totally new environment.

"The decision is also in total contradiction to the Government's professed commitment to widening access to tertiary education for disadvantaged groups, country people included", Senator Baume said.

"The resultant rise in fees at residential colleges will only make it more difficult for those in greatest need".

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Senator Baume said that it was disappointing that Senator Ryan had declined to participate in today's Conference and answer for the decision she had made.

However, he reassured students that he would pursue the matter when Parliament resumes next week.

CONTACT: COLYN MACKAY 02 239.3196

27 August 1984