Greens Propose Free TAFE and University as Part of Education Plan
Image source: Perthnow.com.au
The Greens have today unveiled a plan to scrap TAFE and University fees for students, ahead of the 2019 election. The plan, which is set to cost an estimated $133 billion over the next decade, would allow 1.3 million students to study fee-free by 2023.
Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi said this ‘transformational’ plan would “change forever how we think about education”, removing the burden of repayments to students and making it more accessible than ever.
The plan for free TAFE and University is set to cost up to $133 billion over the next ten years, however, the proposal is said to generate $139 billion in the same period through an increase in tax for offshore gas companies.
Faruqi said the plan will end the decades of universities being run like businesses and shift the focus back on the VET sector.
The funding, which would scrap fees for TAFE, would not include private education providers in the sector. “It’s time to end the debt sentence,” she said, “Young people are graduating from University and TAFE with crushing debts that take almost a decade to pay off.”
For higher education, the plan would cost $22.5 billion over four years, with a 10 percent boost in funding for Commonwealth-supported educators. As a further measure to assist students in Australia, the Greens plan would also see the HELP debt repayment threshold lifted to $52,990, after it was slashed to $45,881 by the Coalition.
The Greens are also seeking to increase youth allowance payments– including Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy–by $75 a week and the allowance to be accessible to Postgraduate students.
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