I believe that education is a fundamental requirement for building an innovative country able to grasp the opportunities of the 21st century.
I also believe that your skill, ability and ambition should determine whether you enter higher education – not your postcode or your parents’ income.
The Turnbull Liberal Government wants to cut $12 billion from higher education. The reality is that the only way that universities will be able to absorb this massive cut is with fee hikes that could see $100,000 degrees become the norm.
Under the Liberals, many young Australians would be locked out of university education entirely and those that proceed will be shackled with a colossal debt sentence before they’ve even started their working lives.
In addition, regional universities like UTAS will struggle to attract the students they need to make up for the Liberals’ cuts.
This isn’t fair.
I’m very proud to support Labor’s positive plan for universities which includes:
- Investing $150 million towards the construction of two new campuses at Inveresk in Launceston and West Park in Burnie to improve education outcomes and deliver jobs. This will create 3,110 jobs, including 265 additional academic and professional staff jobs and support 12,000 new students into higher education in North and North‑West Tasmania.
- A new Student Funding Guarantee which will deliver $2,500 more per student than the Liberals, and remove the need for higher fees and a lifetime of debt.
- Setting an ambitious goal to increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates per year from 2020.
- Investing an additional $31 million in Tertiary Education Quality Standards Australia to boost the quality of teaching and resources in our universities.
- Establishing an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy.
- Offering a Startup Year at university to young Australians looking to start their own enterprise.
- Boosting the number of young Australians taking up science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses at university as well as upskilling 25,000 teachers.
- Introducing a Higher Education Access and Growth Strategy to improve outcomes for low income students, students from rural and regional areas, Indigenous students and first generation migrants, students with disabilities and other disadvantaged students.
- Providing more information for parents and students so they can make good decisions about university.