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Australian students rally against education budget cuts

Hundreds of Australian students and union members have held nationwide protests against the government’s proposed plans to cut higher education budget.

Student protesters descended on the streets of Sydney’s city center on Wednesday, setting fire to an effigy of Australian Education Minister Christopher Pyne as a sign of protest against the government’s proposed changes to higher education.

“We know higher education today is not the same as it was 20 years ago…. We know this budget is aggressive. We know it attacks the poor, the weak, the sick, the elderly students. We know it supports and empowers the rich and the powerful. And we know we are going to continue to fight…[against it] until we bust it,” said a protester.

Hundreds of demonstrators held similar protests on the streets of other major cities, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

The National Day of Action rallies were organized by the National Union of Students.

The so-called proposed reforms announced in May would allow universities to dictate the cost of degrees, following the same model adopted by the United States education system.

The protesters were particularly angry over a government proposal that lets universities set their own fees.

Students and union members are also protesting against the government’s proposals, including full deregulation of the higher education sector, a 20-percent cut to education funding and a rise in the interest rates of student loans.

Critics of the proposed model said it would leave students under the burden of crippling debts in future.

The students also denounced the recent government plans to slash healthcare and education budgets which are expected to have an impact on a large portion of the country’s population.


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  • Rick Alexander

    Australia’s university management under Universities Australia is a joke. The people there have no idea how to manage costs. Many years ago I met with government ministers to promote a savings plan on a dollar for dollar basis.

    When I met with Universities Australia they were furious as to my right to go to the minister and I informed them that I was a free agent and didn’t need their permission to put a plan to the Minister at the time. They point blank told me that – telling the minister that I had identified savings of $500M would mean that the minister would cut their budgets by that much. I countered by saying that the minister would increase the budget on a dollar for dollar savings basis and they scoffed.

    When the minister considered my proposal (put to her through her senior advisor at the time) she increased the University Endowment Fund from 1.2B to 1.7B. Well, you can imagine what happened – yes, the CEO of Universities Australia called is a ‘Wonderful’ outcome and took it all in a shower of glory – but he did none of the work – and I did it for no reward.

    Well, years down the track – were they able to deliver savings? No. Now they have had their chance and they can not be trusted to reduce costs – it’s going to be done for them. Yes, write to me – alexander.ziggy000@gmail to verify this story bonafide.

  • Rick Alexander

    The silence to my comments is very obvious – the responses are coming because most of the intellectuals and their minions can’t even writ an intelligent response.

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