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Abbott's plan to slash uni funding and student places by 130,000

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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Leader of the Government in the Senate


26 August 2012

Abbott’s plan to slash uni funding and student places by 130,000

It has been revealed today in News Limited papers that Tony Abbott has plans to reinstate the cap on university student places, ripping away the opportunity of a university education from more than 130,000 Australians over the next five years and increasing the amount students pay for a degree by at least 25 per cent.

Minister for Tertiary Education Senator Chris Evans said the Liberal Party was planning to save $2.6 billion by slashing university student numbers over the next five years to pay for its $70 billion black hole.

“This plan would see university funding slashed, students locked out of higher education and see those students that do go to university pay thousands of dollars extra to get a degree,” Senator Evans said.

“The Gillard Government abolished the cap on the number of students universities could enrol to open the door to a university education to more Australians.”

This policy has seen an additional 150,000 students attend university, ensuring all Australians who have the drive and ability get the opportunity of a higher education.

“Tony Abbott now wants to put the cap back on university places which would prevent 130,000 Australians over the next five years from reaching their full potential, Senator Evans said.

“Not only does Tony Abbott want to restrict access to Australian universities, he wants to make students pay more."

Increasing student fees by 25 per cent will see student debt skyrocket by an additional $3.5 billion over the next four years.

Under Tony Abbott, students will pay thousands of dollars extra per year:

Course Under Julia

Gillard in 2013 Under Tony Abbott in 2013 (25% increase in



Humanities, Behavioural Science, Social $5,868 $7,338 $1470

Studies, Education Clinical Psychology, Foreign Languages, Visual and Performing Arts, Nursing Mathematics, Statistics, Computing, Built Environment, Other Health Allied Health Science, Engineering, Surveying

$8,363 $10,452 $2089

Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Agriculture

$9,792 $ 12,234 $2442

“Tony Abbott is set to do to Australian universities what Ted Baillieu has done to Victorian TAFEs - cut funding and restrict access.

“When it comes to education, the Liberal Party’s only policy is to cut spending and deny opportunity."

Senator Evans said the Liberal Party’s policy is not only a blow to the aspirations of hundreds of thousands of Australians, but a form of economic vandalism.

“The Australian economy is crying out for more skilled workers. We know that roughly a third of our workforce in coming years will require a Bachelor's degree or higher,” Senator Evans said.

“We need to continue to grow the number of graduates in the workforce to drive high skilled and productive industry in Australia.

“To cut the number of skilled workers by 130,000 is economic madness that will mean lower productivity, growth and damage out international competiveness.

“To deny sectors like the resource sector the engineers, human resource professionals and other related professionals they require will do real long-term damage to the economy.

Senator Evans’ Media Contact: Rhys Davies 0411 138 572