Jul 16, 2015

Higher Ed Forum raises questions on students’ future

Last night’s higher education forum saw robust discussion between members of the community and guest speakers Professor Stephen Parker AO, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra, and Rose Steele, President of the National Union of Students.

Held at Camdenville Public School, the forum provided an opportunity to delve into the Coalition’s proposal to uncap fees.

This would see universities set the price of degrees, similar to the American system.

To date, Professor Parker has been the only Vice-Chancellor to speak out against the Government’s plan to deregulate universities, which he believes is unfair to students and will only see fees increase.

“It will blight the lives of a generation of young Australians,” Professor Parker said.

NUS President Rose Steele said she had benefited from the current system and was the first in her family to go to university.

Ms Steele said Tony Abbott’s plan to deregulate universities would make access to higher education much more difficult, particularly for those from low SES backgrounds.

“Students have no idea what they could be paying under a deregulated system,” Ms Steele said.

Labor believes students should have access to a high quality and affordable education and will continue to oppose the Abbott Government’s cuts to universities.