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TAFE loans scheme will see TAFE fees skyrocket.

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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

TAFE loans scheme will see TAFE fees skyrocket

Senator Nettle, 20th March 2006

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today called on federal and state government not to introduce a loans scheme for TAFE students saying it would lead to massive increases in TAFE fees and a reduction in public funding for the vocational education and training sector.

"The introduction of HECS to universities in 1989 was the start of massive fee increases and the introduction of full fee paying places," Senator Nettle said.

"Between 1996 and 2003 publicly funded university students paid $2137 extra per year for their degrees and the government decreased its contribution per student from $11,000 per year to $8,000.

"TAFE has always provided educational opportunities for working class Australians, struggling young people, Indigenous Australians and older and migrant Australians seeking a second chance at education or the opportunity to retrain in a new area.

These people will not be able to afford to repay excessive TAFE fees and should not be the sole financers of the community benefits provided by TAFE.

"The investment required to run a high quality, fully publicly funded TAFE system that is accessible for all students is cheap in comparison with the investment required to properly fund the primary, secondary and university sectors.

"Federal and State governments have failed to make this investment in the past with the federal government reducing per student funding by 25% since 1997 and the NSW Government increasing TAFE fees by 300%.

"The Greens recognise that governments will see the introduction of a loans system for TAFE as an opportunity to further shirk their responsibilities to fund this vital education sector and instead shift the costs onto struggling Australians," concluded Senator Nettle.

Contact - Max Phillips 0414 338 526 Created by Administration Last modified 21-03-2006 12:46 PM