Swinburne University of Technology

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  1. UK: Student debt and cashpoint colleges

    Posted 3 July 2014 by Paul Clifton (NTEU National Office)

    UK experience signposts Australia’s future

    At the University & Colleges Union (UCU) we have been following recent events in Australia closely. Your government’s plans to increase student fees and to open up the sector to for-profit providers are depressingly familiar to staff and students in English higher education. On a more positive note, it has been fantastic to see the level of protests in Australia at the proposed fee changes and budget cuts!

    The UK experience

    What has been happening in England regarding fees, debt and the overall sustainability of the loan system? Since 2012-13 universities in England have been able to charge up to £9000 a year for new full-time undergraduates. As in Australia students don’t pay upfront fees but are required to take up a government-backed loan, which is paid back after graduation. Graduates must repay 9% of their gross income above a certain level of annual income (the current threshold is £25,000).  Interest rates on loans vary from 0–3% above the inflation

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  2. More Women Strongly Oppose the Federal Government's Uni Deregulation Plans

    Posted 2 July 2014 by Terri Macdonald (NTEU National Office)

    Given the overwhelming evidence on the impact of deregulation and other higher education policy changes proposed by the Federal Government, it should come as no real surprise that more women are ...

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  3. Mr Pyne, its your policies that are flawed, not the modelling of their effects!

    Posted 27 June 2014 by Paul Kniest (NTEU National Office)

    The Minister for Education Christopher Pyne has dismissed modelling of the impacts of deregulating university fees and imposing real interest on student debt undertaken by the National Centre for ...

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  4. The Cost of an Australian university degree compared to the rest of the world

    Posted 27 June 2014 by Paul Kniest (NTEU National Office)

    Some of the more questions frequently asked about the impacts of Christopher Pyne’s proposed changes to higher education include what impact they are likely to have on the cost of getting an Australian university degree and how this will compare to the rest of the world.

    While we do not know exactly how much the cost of university degree in Australia will increases as rest of the government allowing universities and other providers offering Commonwealth supported places to charge whatever price they think the market will bear.  The NTEU’s analysis of factors determining likely prices rises and what impact this will have on students is the subject of a fact sheet called  How much will a uni degree cost?

    The purpose of this note however, is compare how much it costs to undertake an undergraduate university degree in Australia compared to the rest of the world.  In order to ensure that we are comparing universities of similar standing we have used data on university fees included in QS World University Ranking Top 500 for 2013.  The data presented in Figure 1 (also see Table 1) show both the average fee charged to undergraduate students by universities in the Top 500 in each country with at least 3 universities in the top 500.  It also shows range (top and bottom) of average fees charged by the different universities in each country.

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  5. 18C and the ‘right to be bigots’

    Posted 26 June 2014 by Adam Frogley (Indigenous)

    On 25 March 2014 – a watershed day in the debate of freedom of speech versus the right for all Australian citizens to be protected from acts of racial discrimination – Attorney-General George Brandis announced the Government intended to repeal Sections 18.B, C, D and E from the Racial Discrimination Act (1975), replacing them with a ‘strengthened’ version.

    This brought passionate pleas from many community organisations and individuals to immediately withdraw the proposal. 

    While it would appear that the Government is forging ahead with this move on the basis that they see fault with these sections of the Act, the explanations from the Attorney-General on why his new proposed wording would be beneficial fall far short of the existing protections in the Act.

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  6. Deregulation of Victorian vocational education: A case study in policy and market failure

    Posted 26 June 2014 by Paul Kniest (NTEU National Office)

    As we all wait with anticipation for the market to ‘waive’ its magic in the deregulated higher education market, we might ask why such an approach has been such an unmitigated failure in relation to Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Victoria. The Brumby Labor Government’s 2008 Securing Jobs for Your Future policy introduced a student-demand driven system in which public funding was fully contestable between public TAFE institutes and private providers for the delivery of VET, not dissimilar to the approach Christopher Pyne wants to impose on higher education.

    The primary objective of the Victorian policy was to increase the number of people undertaking training in areas and at levels where skills are needed for the Victorian economy.  The only problem is that this did not

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  7. Mary Kelly: Commonwealth scholarships trashed

    Posted 26 June 2014 by Paul Clifton (NTEU National Office)

    The Federal Budget claims to create a new ‘Commonwealth Scholarship’ scheme but, in reality it cuts $800 million from the existing scheme, trashes the Liberal legacy of Menzies and Nelson, and makes things worse for low-income students.

    Before Whitlam abolished fees, Menzies had in place a widespread system of Commonwealth Scholarships (CS) which paid for tuition fees and provided a living

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  8. Bluestocking Week 2014: Crossing the Line

    Posted 23 June 2014 by Jeannie Rea (Women)

    This year’s Bluestocking Week theme is ‘Crossing the Line’. How could it be otherwise? The line has been crossed already, not by us but by the Abbott Coalition Government and their advocates and supporters, who are seeking to wind back the clock as they actively attack pro-women and feminist policies and perspectives. We cannot stand on the sideline, but have to cross the line ourselves.

    Last year, we focused on what the future may hold as it looked like the outcome of the federal election would be a neo-conservative Coalition Government.  

    The National Union of Students (NUS) announced early last year that ‘Our bluestockings are on the line.’ NTEU responded in August arguing that we must ‘hold the line’, defending equity and accessibility in universities, highlighting the value of education in a progressive society, and underlining the need to maintain a quality higher education sector through appropriate levels of public

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  9. Victorian Division Indigenous Members' Forum registration

    Posted 17 June 2014 by Ken Norling (Vic Division)

    Registration for one day Victorian Division Indigenous Members' Forum, to be held Thursday 3 July at the Koorie Heritage Trust.

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    TheVictorian Division is holding an Indigenous members Forum on 3 July at the Koorie Heritage Trust, 295 King Street Melbourne.

    All those attending the  Forum  must register with the Division office by COB 27 June 2014, using this form.

    Registrations after this will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. 

    For any registration enquiries, please contact Sam Maynard, email smaynard@nteu.org.au

    For any Forum enquiries, please contact Celeste Liddle, email cliddle@nteu.org.au

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  10. 70 per cent of Australians against higher university fees

    Posted 16 June 2014 by Matthew McGowan (NTEU National Office)

    Polling commissioned by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) shows that 70% of Australians oppose university fee increases for students and that higher education reforms are one of the most unpopular measures in the budget.

    The figures confirm that the community are angry about the broken election commitment not to alter university funding arrangements, as well as policies that would see students from poorer backgrounds locked out of quality education.

    “These are budget measures that Christopher Pyne and the Government kept secret before the election for a reason,” said Jeannie Rea, NTEU National

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