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If Pyne’s deregulation plan for unis fails to pass the Senate again, there are some alternatives that will preserve our higher education system. AAP

What if Pyne’s uni plan fails again? Some sensible alternatives

The government will introduce amended legislation for higher education reform into the Senate next year for further debate. But how do we keep higher education sustainable if the package is torpedoed again…
Christopher Pyne says our universities need reform, but that doesn’t mean his ‘plan A’ is the only option. AAP

University funding reform blocked? There’s a pretty obvious ‘Plan B’

The Senate has rejected the Coalition’s plans to deregulate university fees, cut university funding by 20% and extend government subsidies to private providers, despite a few modest measures offered at…
The Senate has rejected Christopher Pyne’s fee deregulation plan, but that doesn’t mean the sector isn’t in need of reform. AAP

Fee deregulation is a bad idea, but our universities do need reform

Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s scheme for the deregulation of university fees is dead or delayed. Either way it has been exposed as bad for Australia. This is because it will put universities in…
Pyne has reincarnated and reintroduced his failed Higher Education Bill, but it still doesn’t provide an answer to the problem of ballooning student debt under fee deregulation. AAP

New higher ed bill still doesn’t solve the biggest problem: debt

On Tuesday night, the Senate voted to block the government’s Higher Education Reform Bill. Despite last-minute negotiations, consensus could not be reached regarding its signature element – fee deregulation…
Education Minister Christopher Pyne is still adamant on getting his higher education reforms through the Senate next year. AAP/Lukas Coch

Government determined to fight on for university fee deregulation

After the Senate sent his higher education bill packing, Education Minister Christopher Pyne dropped into a Universities Australia reception, which serendipitously happened to be in full swing at Parliament…
Christopher Pyne’s higher education reforms have been knocked back by the Senate. AAP/Lukas Coch

Senate torpedoes Pyne’s university deregulation

The Senate has voted down Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s higher education measures – one of the budget’s key reforms…
Glenn Lazarus has confirmed the Palmer United Party won’t support the government’s higher education reform package. AAP/Lukas Coch

Don’t harass me, Lazarus tells Pyne

Palmer United Party Senate leader Glenn Lazarus has warned Education Minister Christopher Pyne to “stop harassing” him and…
If passed, the changes to higher education will mean Australia is ‘sleepwalking towards the privatisation of its universities’, according to University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker. AAP/Paul Miller

Stephen Parker: higher education changes a ‘fraud on the electorate’

Had someone told me last summer that I would be defending public universities on the first day of next summer I would have ridiculed the idea. Somehow I believed what the Coalition wrote in early 2013…
Labor has been touting the notion of $100,000 degrees under fee deregulation, but how likely are they in reality? AAP

Labor’s ‘$100,000 degree’ projections are misleading

The government’s proposed changes to higher education are a platform on which Labor can fight the next election. The strategy is simple: don’t try to modify the package, or offer new solutions. Just shoot…
Should fee deregulation pass in the Senate this week, there needs to be serious discussion about an independent oversight body. AAP

Why the higher education reforms need to be independently overseen

The proposed changes to higher education, including the deregulation of fees, while offering potentially significant benefits, also carry significant social and economic risks. Should the bill pass in…
People will always want to know more about humanity: the past, the present and the future. Fee deregulation won’t change that. Flickr/Trey Ratcliffe

University fee deregulation will not hurt the humanities

As I travel around the nation, it pains me to find much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth in the senior common rooms of our universities. The academic union reports that morale has never been lower…
Are scholarships to help out students in need? Or to make universities look good? AAP

What are scholarships for?

The University of Sydney’s Vice-Chancellor, Michael Spence, presumably achieved his political aim by announcing that his university could offer scholarships to almost a third of its students if fees were…
In the wake of a Senate committee report, Christopher Pyne faces an uphill battle to get his higher education legislation through. AAP

Pass higher education bill with amendments: Senate inquiry

The Senate inquiry into the government’s proposed suite of changes to higher education has now reported. The committee came up with five recommendations, some of which were foreshadowed by Education Minister…
Changes to higher education have failed to mention Indigenous participation. Flickr/Rusty Stewart

Indigenous students neglected in the higher education policy debate

The government has made clear that more opportunities for Indigenous students are key to its vision for a world-class higher education system. However, Indigenous issues have received little attention…
Australia has undergone a significant shift from the Whitlam days when tertiary education was free. Dean Lewins/AAP

Why our university funding debate wouldn’t make sense to Germans

Recent times have seen heated debates in Australia about whether higher education tuition fees should be deregulated, and about the private/public benefits of higher education. A question that goes to…
When choosing which university to attend, price is not high on most Australians' list of priorities. Shutterstock

Does price matter when picking a university?

The proposed changes to higher education, including the removal of caps on student fees, have led many to question what drives students to pick a university. In a deregulated market will universities compete…
Is it realistic to say graduates gain a million-dollar advantage over non-graduates? Shutterstock

Million-dollar degree pay-offs: how real are they?

The main reason given for planned subsidy cuts to university courses has been that, with a degree, graduates will earn “a million dollars more”. Figure 1 shows how the May Budget compared graduate incomes…
Commonwealth scholarships sound like a good idea, but they’ve been mired in controversy over how they will be doled out. Shutterstock

The problem with Commonwealth ‘scholarships’

Equity scholarships usually attract general support as a “good thing”. It therefore seems surprising that the Coalition’s proposed new Commonwealth scholarship scheme should generate so much contention…
When contemplating our fee deregulation gamble, we should look no further than New Zealand, where it was tried and failed. The.Rohit/Flickr

Will Australia learn from NZ’s mistakes in higher education?

Since 1990 New Zealand has introduced many dramatic “reforms” into its higher education system, many of them well in advance of Australia. A number of these “reforms” have been unwound after nasty, unintended…

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