2016 Budget Statement

Join us on Wednesday, 11 May as we march in protest: www.facebook.com/events/1711383545809054

For some reason, the Coalition government hates us and is trying to be sneaky about it. Everything and more from the 2015 Federal Budget is still on the table. The only difference in 2016 is the Coalition is smart enough to know that their proposed changes to Higher Education will lose them the election, thus they have been deferred until later in the year.

The bullet points are:

  • 20% funding cuts,
  • raising the cap on degree pricing,
  • lowering the HECS/HELP payback threshold significantly
  • forcing your next of kin to pay your HECS/HELP debt, even if you died before you finished or got a well paying job,
  • and cuts to Higher Education Participation locking out students from disadvantaged backgrounds

All these approaches are hitting the most disadvantaged among us the hardest and it is not fair.

What concerns me most is how the Coalition is trying to replicate aspects of the American education system. With ‘Flagship’ degrees you should read ‘guaranteed no poor people’ as a selling point. With cuts to the Indigenous Tutoring Assistance Scheme (ITAS) and a results based funding approach to replace it, we are turning to Bush-era ‘No Child Left Behind’ approaches that only broaden the gap we are fighting to close.

All these cuts, all these closed programs and the deregulation of Universities ensure that Universities are cemented as business you have the privilege to access and not the institutions you have a right to attend. It is not fair and UMSU will not stand for it.  

Wednesday 11 May we will be marching on the city of Melbourne to protest these changes and I hope you will all be in attendance.

If you would like more information on the outcomes of the 2016 Federal Budget you can head to FarragoMagazine.com for more coverage or just about every major news source.

If you want to get involved head over to www.facebook.com/umsueducation for updates and events.