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No HECS increase at Wollongong Uni.

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Michael Organ MP

Greens Member for Cunningham

MEDIA RELEASE 16 March 2004

No HECS increase at Wollongong Uni

Cunningham MP Michael Organ has asked the Vice Chancellor and Council of the University of Wollongong to rule out any increases in HECS fees for students.

“While I understand the financial pressures imposed by the Howard government and its Education Minister Brendan Nelson, the University has a responsibility to the Illawarra region to maintain equitable access to its educational programs and to reduce student debt,” Mr Organ said.

“Allowing an increase in HECS charges by a whopping 25%, is making universities the playgrounds of the rich. The University of Wollongong has a real opportunity to help students and their families by opposing these increases.”

“Any increase in fees will further lock Illawarra students out of tertiary education and increase the record $10 billion HECS debt burden.”

“The University of Wollongong has a fine record of supporting local students, and this must be maintained in light of the Illawarra’s youth unemployment rate of over 20% and increasing student poverty.”

“Today I wrote to Professor Gerard Sutton, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wollongong, and to the entire University Council, asking them to reinforce their commitment to the Illawarra by ruling out any HECS increase.”

More from: Michael Organ MP 02 4228 3666, 0439 442 550 Allen Clark (Media Adviser) 0439 464 439

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