Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said the first day of the Senate Inquiry into the Job-ready Graduates legislation has revealed widespread criticism and sector dissatisfaction regarding the package.
- The Group of Eight and ATN groups, representing 14 universities, will not give their support to the bill unless substantial amendments are made that would radically overhaul the legislation.
- University staff and students represented by the National Tertiary Education Union and the National Union of Students strongly oppose the bill.
- There is broad agreement that price signals that are fundamental to the bill don’t work.
- The University of Sydney gave critical evidence on its “serious concerns” about the Bill and the “rushed, highly complex and radically disruptive surgery” it proposes.
Senator Mehreen Faruqi said:
“The message is clear: the government needs to withdraw the bill and go back to the drawing board.
“This important inquiry has brought to light widespread discontent across the sector.
“Students will face substantial fee increases and universities will have billions cut from their funding if this bill proceeds.
“Staff, students, and many of the vice-chancellors are united in their serious concerns about what this bill means for the future of higher education.
“Universities have been completely smashed by the Covid-19 crisis. The least the government could do is withdraw this punitive bill that would make things worse, not better.
“There is no reason this huge overhaul of university fees and funding needs to proceed this year.
“To rebuild from 2020, we need a plan for well-funded, fee-free university and TAFE for all, not the Liberals’ unfixable plan for higher education,” she said.