THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
SHARON CLAYDON MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR NEWCASTLE
MALCOLM TURNBULL'S CRUEL PLAN FOR UNI STUDENTS
Labor will fight against Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to charge students as much as $3200 for university preparation courses that are currently free.
Today, the Deputy Labor Leader, Tanya Plibersek, joined the Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon, at the University of Newcastle to hear from students and staff about the terrible impact Mr Turnbull’s plan will have on students, communities, and the region.
Ms Plibersek said the university preparation courses give people who may not have finished high school the opportunity to go to uni.
“The courses teach the maths, science, English, and other skills necessary for university,” Ms Plibersek said.
“They are particularly successful in helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds get a university education.
“But Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to introduce fees of thousands of dollars will put these courses out of reach for people that really need them.
“It’s just cruel.”
Ms Claydon said Novocastrians were very worried about Mr Turnbull’s plan to undermine university preparation courses (also known as ‘enabling programs’).
“These programs have a proven track record of delivering equity in education for decades,” Ms Claydon said.
“The University of Newcastle is the largest and oldest provider of enabling programs in the country, having helped over 42,000 students gain entrance into higher education since 1974.
“Today, close to 20 per cent of the current student cohort at the University of Newcastle entered their degree through an enabling program.
“These programs focus on providing higher education pathways for Indigenous and mature-age students as well as recent school leavers aged between 18 and 20.
“Many participants are the first ones in their families to go to university.
“The fact that Newcastle has more than 1,000 Indigenous students enrolled and trains more than half of the nation’s Indigenous doctors is no coincidence – this is directly attributable to decades of hard work and Newcastle University’s steadfast commitment to delivering equity in education through high quality enabling programs.”
“Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to charge students up to $3200 for enabling programs comes at the same time as he’s trying to cut uni funding, jack up fees, and force students to pay back uni debts faster.
“In contrast, the last Labor government lifted overall investment in unis from $8 billion a year in 2007, to $14 billion a year in 2013.”
TUESDAY, 11 JULY 2017