NTEU National Office

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  1. The end of public higher education in Australia

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

    Australia’s system of public higher education will come to end if Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott are successful in getting their proposed changes to higher education regulation and funding through both houses of Parliament. No longer will entry into a public university be determined on the basis of a student’s academic ability but on their ability to pay.  In the new privatised higher education sector merit will no longer matter, money will.

    Cuts to funding for CSPs

    In a series of policies euphemistically referred to in the Budget papers under the broad heading of ‘expanding opportunity’, the Government will: 

    • Cut funding for Commonwealth supported places (CSPs) on average by 20%. 
    • Open up CSPs to non-university higher education providers, including for-profit providers, and
    • Expand CSP funding to sub-bachelor higher education qualifications.

    In aggregate, these measures are forecast to increase total CSP enrolments by 80,000 full time equivalent students, and save the Commonwealth in the order of $1.1 billion.

    As Figure 1 shows, the cuts to Government funding vary considerably from discipline to discipline.  While the average cut of 20% represents an average cut of $2,120 per CSP, funding for engineering, surveying and science will be cut by $4,717 per student (-28.1%). social studies by $,567 per student (-37.2%).  On the other hand funding per mathematics and/or statistics student will increase by $2,458

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  2. 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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  3. The Abbott Government's planned de-regulation of uni degrees to hit women the hardest

    Posted 26 June 2014 by Terri Macdonald (NTEU National Office)

    New modelling by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra, in conjunction with news website The Conversation report (HECS upon you: NATSEM models ...

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  4. Recent human rights actions by NTEU

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

    NTEU National Office regularly sends letters to foreign governments and companies in support of imprisoned or victimised educators and workers, upon the request of education and human rights ...

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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. Science meets Parliament 2014

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

    The 14th Science meets Parliament (SmP) event (17–18 March 2014) provided the platform and opportunities for scientists, government, parliamentarians, industry and community representatives to engage and interact with the sole aim to advance the role and impact of science and technology in

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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. NSW politicians defend our universities

    Posted 25 June 2014 by Genevieve Kelly (NSW Division)

    The response to the Abbott Government’s punitive budget has been heartening. Attacks on our universities have spurred the community to action to protect quality, public higher education. On 6 July, union members and community groups will rally to defend a fair Australia and oppose increases to university fees.

    A number of prominent NSW politicians have also joined us to say no to $100,000 degrees. I'd like to thank them for their support. Now it is over to you... do you say no to $100,000 degrees?

    You can check out these and more photos on our facebook and twitter. You can also send your own photo: http://bit.ly/BustTheBudgetSelfie


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  10. Media Release: Pyne’s new Commonwealth Scholarships scheme is inequitable and unworkable

    Posted 25 June 2014 by Michael Evans (NTEU National Office)

    National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) analysis (attached) shows that the proposed new Commonwealth Scholarship scheme for higher education students introduced as part of the 2014-15 Federal Budget ...

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