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$100,000 uni degrees for West Australians.



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Media Release Jenny MacklinMP

$100,000 UNI DEGREES FOR WEST AUSTRALIANS

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Shadow Minister for Employment, Education & Training Federal Member for Jagajaga

Murdoch University’s decision to become the first West Australian university to introduce full-fee paying undergraduate places is new evidence that the Howard Government is not funding enough HECS places in universities.

Full-fee degrees can cost over $100,000. At the University of Sydney a full-fee law degree costs $85,000. A full-fee veterinary science degree costs $144,000 at the University of Queensland. The Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University has priced a full-fee medical degree at $150,000.

West Australians should not be forced to pay these exorbitant fees for a university degree.

This is a clear sign that the Howard Government must fund more HECS places for West Australians.

Western Australian students already face severe shortages of university places and increased competition next year.

According to a report for the Ministerial Education Council, West Australians have the lowest likelihood of gaining a government-funded university place of people from any State in Australia.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Australia has told the Senate inquiry into the Howard Government's university package that the proposed changes could mean the loss of around 8,000 HECS places from Australian universities over the next three years.

Full-fee places undermine equity and standards. Access to university should be based on your achievements and potential, not on how much you can pay.

The Howard Government is creating a system where money more than marks opens university doors.

Labor opposes full fees for Australian undergraduates and will create more than 20,000 new university places for Australians starting a degree every year from 2008.

Media Contact: Shannon Rees 02 6277 4045; 0438 950 375 8 October 2003