UWA STUDENT GUILD SAYS HIGHER ED FUNDING FREEZE HURTS STUDENTS

UWA Student Guild Media Release                                                                        

Friday 22 December 2017

The University of Western Australia Student Guild has expressed deep disappointment in the Minister for Education Simon Birmingham’s proposal to strip the higher education sector of $41.2 billion.

UWA Student Guild President Megan Lee said that the two year ‘freeze’ on funding to higher education institutions in the recent mid-year budget update is “a direct attack on the quality of education in Australia.”

The dollar cap on student places at university and failure to meet expected CPI increases in funding will result in universities having to cap student numbers.

“This freeze will ultimately result in real cuts to higher education and lead to students from rural parts of Australia being locked out of higher education, particularly in disciplines that Australia needs the most such as nursing, science and engineering,” said Lee.

“What’s even more concerning for students is the lowering of the HECS repayment threshold. That will see graduates who are earning barely enough to stay afloat having to start repaying their university debt. Yet again, students are footing the bill to achieve Government savings.”

The UWA Student Guild Council unanimously condemned the proposed cuts at a recent meeting and is urging students to speak out by signing an online petition, participating in national campaigns against the cuts and joining the UWA Student Guild Education Action Network.

The petition can be found at www.change.org/p/australian-federal-government-birmingham-stop-the-attacks-on-our-universities

END

MEDIA REFERENCE

Megan Lee – 105th UWA Student Guild President

E‐mail: president@guild.uwa.edu.au

Phone: (08) 6488 2294

Posted on December 22, 2017

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