Oct 26, 2006

Confirmed: Australian uni fees second highest in the developed world after USA

Confirmed: Australian uni fees second highest in the developed world after the USA


26 October 2006

Today Anthony Albanese MP will meet with students from Grayndler at the University of Sydney to discuss issues they confront in the Howard Government’s Higher Education system.

“This is the last teaching week of semester at the University of Sydney. When students return next year they will see the full impact of the Howard Government’s Voluntary Student Unionism legislation,” said Mr Albanese

“Not only will services disappear but along with them will go numerous programs and networks which currently provide essential support for many students, especially international students and also those from low socio-economic backgrounds.”

“Over the past ten years the Howard Government has stripped $5 billion from university funding. Universities are now forced to fill that black hole by slugging students with ever skyrocketing fees.”

“Full-fee paying places are being offered to students who score up to 20 points below the cut off mark. This situation is unfair and unacceptable.”

“Federal Labor will abolish full-fee degrees for domestic undergraduates at Australian public universities,” declared Mr Albanese

According to the OECD’s Education at a Glance Report 2006, public investment in universities in Australia has declined by 7 per cent while in other OECD countries it has increased by an average of 48 per cent.

The OECD has laid the blame squarely at the feet of the Howard Government for this situation, stating:

In Australia, the main reason for the increase in the private share of spending on tertiary institutions between 1995 and 2003 was changes to the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) that took place in 1997.

Mr Albanese said, “The Howard Government has become so out of touch that it is giving students obstacles to education rather than opportunity.”

“As students struggle with super-sized fees, the Howard Government’s aspirations for an American-style system where only those who can afford it, get to go to university, is becoming increasingly apparent.”

“It is appalling that Australia is the only OECD country to have reduced public investment in universities and TAFE between 1995 and 2003.”

“Australia needs a change in government to put investment back into higher education,” Mr Albanese concluded.