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NXT Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie called tonight for a comprehensive review of post-school education and declared “we cannot accept this is the reform that is needed” in debate on the Government’s higher education legislation.

Universities Australia applauds Ms Sharkie’s recognition that the bill would impose “a blunt and deep cut that will mean job losses to the sector and higher education costs for students”.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said the NXT team had engaged carefully and diligently on the detail of the legislation and thanked them for hearing the concerns of universities, students and families.

“Tonight the NXT and Rebekha Sharkie have called a spade a spade when it comes to the biggest proposed cuts to higher education in almost two decades,” Ms Robinson said.

“They are absolutely right that this is a blunt and deep cut that would lead to job losses.”

Ms Sharkie also voiced concerns that the proposed performance funding scheme would lead to a “Hunger Games style” contest pitting universities against each other.

Universities Australia shares these concerns about creating perverse incentives that would punish universities who educate and support the most disadvantaged students in the nation.

In the debate this evening, Ms Sharkie told the House of Representatives:

“With the greatest of respect, this bill is tinkering around the edges with some small good measures and a blunt and deep cut that will mean job losses to the sector and higher education costs for students.”

“What we need is a comprehensive review of higher education that involves federal and state Governments, universities and the vocational education and apprenticeship sector around the table. We need a comprehensive review akin to the Gonski-led style review of education.”

“We must look at how we prepare the next generation for the world of work to ensure young people successfully transition to sustainable employment.”

Universities Australia Media Contacts

Misha Schubert
02 6285 8133
Mobile: 0421 612 351

Bella Counihan
Ph: 02 6285 8123
Mobile: 0419 212 219 

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