Jul 25, 2003

20,000 new university places and 20,000 new TAFE places for young Australians

20,000 NEW UNIVERSITY PLACES AND 20,000 NEW TAFE PLACES FOR YOUNG AUSTRALIANS

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 25 July 2003

Labor will create 20,000 new uni places and 20,000 new TAFE places under a $2.34 billion plan to help more Australians get the training and education they need to get a decent job, Anthony Albanese MP Labor Member for Grayndler said today.

“Labor’s package means there will be more opportunities for young people in Grayndler to get a uni or TAFE place and will open the doors for more young people to get the skills and training they need for a brighter future, “ Mr Albanese said.

Under the Howard Government, 20,000 qualified Australians miss out on a uni place and 15,000 are turned away from our TAFEs every year.

Unlike the Howard Government which wants to increase university fees by 30 per cent, Labor will create more affordable places for our young people without slugging our students and their families with higher fees or drowning them in debt. The Howard Government wants to drive students further and further into debt, by creating more and more university degrees that cost $100,000 or even more.

“Under Labor there will be no more $100,000 degrees or massive rises in HECS fees. Labor believes in a fair education system where your education is based on your ability, not your ability to pay. Labor has already announced we will relieve the financial burden on students and their families by:

• Increasing the HECS repayment threshold to $35,000.

• Extending rent assistance to Austudy recipients.

• Progressively lowering the age at which students are considered independent and adjusting the means test on parental income for Youth Allowance so that it cuts out when a student is 23.

• Opposing the Howard Government’s proposed 30 per cent increase in HECS fees.

• Opposing the Howard Government’s deregulation of university fees.

• Abolishing full fees for Australian undergraduates.

• Cutting the cost of maths and science degrees by nearly $5,000.

Labor’s Aim Higher: Learning, training and better jobs for more Australians – will give all Australians the chance to get a decent education and a better paying job.

The initiative is fully costed and fully funded and, unlike the Howard Government’s, will not raise fees on students.

“Labor’s commitment to education and skills is good for all Australian students, their families and local communities, Mr Albanese concluded.