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HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING AMENDMENT BILL 2002

The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—

Debate resumed by Ms Macklin (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) who moved, as an amendment—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"whilst not declining to give the Bill a second reading, the House:

(1) condemns the Government for:

 (a) its shameful neglect of public universities of Australia, its undermining of the future development of regional universities and the increasing financial burden it is placing on students and their families;

(b) the pre-empting of its review of higher education by the ad hoc addition of new private higher education institutions in this Bill;

(c) the lack of clear guidelines for the application of income contingent loans for fee-paying postgraduate courses in private institutions;

(d) its failure to establish accountability principles and criteria for the growing number of private, non-university providers of higher education in Australia;

(e) the absence of policy guidelines in relation to access, equity and anti-discrimination practices in private providers of higher education; and

(f) its failure to explain the real costs to government of the expansion of income contingent loans schemes to private providers; and

(2) requests the Government to:

 (a) establish clear criteria and processes for the public accountability of private higher education providers that are brought within the auspices of the Higher Education Funding Act; and

(b) review the powers and functions of the Australian Universities Quality Agency to enable it to investigate the quality, standards and accountability of private higher education providers, in particular, the programs offered by the four private institutions to be included in the legislation as eligible unfunded institutions, and to report back to Parliament on the outcomes of that investigation before any further additions that might be made arising from the Government's overall review of higher education".

Debate continued.

Debate adjourned (Dr Martin), and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour this day.