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Nelson's uni changes compound nurse shortage.

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Media Release

Jenny Macklin MP Deputy Federal Labor Leader Shadow Minister for Employment, Education & Training Federal Member for Jagajaga

Nelson’s uni changes compound nurse shortage

Australia’s nurse shortage will be compounded by the closure of undergraduate nursing at the University of Sydney. Creating more nursing places must be the priority not closing nursing faculties and moving these places to other universities.

Labor will fund universities properly and create 3,100 more nursing places.

Our health system cannot afford to have universities closing nursing courses because they are expensive to run and less prestigious.

Brendan Nelson’s support for the University of Sydney to close its undergraduate nursing degree demonstrates that the national interest comes a distant second to money and status under his university changes.

Brendan Nelson has set up a university system that encourages universities to close nursing courses. This is the perverse result of his university funding system that forces universities to rely on 25 per cent fee hikes.

The imminent closure of nursing at the University of Sydney shows that 25 per cent HECS hikes are no substitute for proper government funding.

Australia’s universities must be funded properly so that they serve the national interest which means educating more nurses and teachers not less.

NSW has 1,500 nursing positions unfilled and the director of the College of Nursing, Judy Lumby has warned that because of Sydney University’s decision - “There’s every chance there will be some places dropped off... we can’t afford to lose even one place.”

More info: Caroline Turnour 03 9650 8022 or 0408 473 278 9 June 2004