In her Mamamia column today, Tanya Plibersek argues that Christopher’s Pynes higher education reforms will only serve to disadvantage students, and Australia’s future.
Lately, there’s been a lot of debate about university fees.
Christopher Pyne thinks universities should be able to charge whatever they like for a degree. He also thinks that students should pay a greater share of the cost of their studies because a uni education is a ‘private benefit’, not a public good.
He’s wrong on pretty much every count.
Australia can never be a successful nation unless we invest in education: from quality early learning and pre-school, through the school years, vocational education, and universities. For many Australians that will mean training and retraining more than once as their lives and our economy change.
Related content: Senate votes down university fees legislation. Again.
It’s estimated that by 2020, two-thirds of all the jobs created in Australia will require a diploma qualification or higher. Encouraging young Australians to go to uni is not just good for them, it’s vital for the wealth of our nation.
And most parents agree. Research by Universities Australia found that 88% of Australians will encourage their children, and young people they know, to attend university.
Mr Pyne asks, ‘Why should a factory worker pay taxes so someone else can get a law degree?’ The answer, of course, is that that factory worker may hope for their children or grandchildren to go to uni. And when those kids graduate, if they earn more because of the degree, they will pay higher taxes, enabling the next generation of kids to get to uni too.