LABOR’S POSITIVE PLAN FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

Federal Illawarra MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have today said that students in the Illawarra will benefit from Labor’s positive plan for universities.

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A Shorten Labor Government will invest in every student to make sure they graduate with the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future, not a lifetime of debt.

Labor is concerned that 28 per cent of people who started a degree in 2006 had not completed it after eight years. One in three students from low socioeconomic circumstances dropped out of university.

“We want kids in the Illawarra that start university, to finish with a high quality degree, not a debt sentence,” said Sharon Bird.

“Unfortunately, students have been abandoned by the Coalition. Earlier this year they withheld $2.72 million from the University of Wollongong, money that should have been paid more than a year ago.

“Their plan for $100,000 degrees will hit the local region hard, particularly since not every potential student will be willing to take on such a huge amount of debt.”                                                                                                                                    

Stephen Jones said that Labor’s plans for universities was about investing in the jobs of the future.

“One of the biggest concerns parents have is what kind of job their kids are going to get down the track.

“We must do all we can save jobs in the coal and steel industries, but the truth is the Illawarra economy is in transition. Our kids must be highly skilled, highly adaptable and technology literate to compete in the world.

“This cannot occur if the Coalition presses ahead with their intransigence on higher education. In March the then Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, even tried to hold  research funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy hostage to his plan for $100,000 degrees.

“This isn’t good enough, we need to encourage students to take on study in areas of anticipated growth, with the skills employers need.”

Labor has a positive plan for more highly skilled graduates, not $100,000 degrees. This is the investment our economy needs, for more details visit: www.futuresmartaustralia.org  

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