Australian Senate Rejects Student Fee Deregulation - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Australian Senate Rejects Student Fee Deregulation

by Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia ― The Australian Senate on Tuesday rejected government legislation that would have cut public funding to universities but allowed campuses to raise student fees to make up the shortfall.

The close 33-to-31 Senate vote was another blow to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s bid to rein in Australia’s burgeoning deficit in the final few days that Parliament will sit for the year. It came the same day as a prominent opinion poll showed that Abbot was becoming increasing unpopular 15 months after his convincing election victory.

The government had hoped to save 1.1 billion Australian dollars ($934 million) over three years from 2016 under the plan that included reducing government restrictions on how much universities can charge Australian students. Fee-paying foreign students, mostly from China and India, currently subsidize Australian students at the same universities, which are largely state-funded.

The most popular universities welcomed fee deregulation, but the opposition and key independent senators warned that the children of ordinary Australian families would be priced out of tertiary education.

An opinion poll by Sydney-based market researcher Newspoll published in The Australian newspaper on Tuesday showed Abbott’s approval rating fell to 33 percent from 41 percent in September. The poll was based on a random, nationwide telephone survey of 1,164 voters on the weekend. It has a 3 percentage point margin of error.

Abbott on Tuesday blamed his government’s poor polling on the unpopular work of reducing the budget deficit. The government’s plan to return the budget to surplus in four years has been undermined by falling iron ore and coal prices that have wiped billions of dollars off forecast tax revenues.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Benedict College’s Bold Move to Lower Tuition: Ask Us ‘Why Not?’ A Bold Look at National Trends Alicia is a rising junior at Benedict College, who upon realizing that her parents could no longer afford her tuition, had just began giving up hope and looking at other options for her future. Imagine the sheer deli...
University of Missouri to Raise Undergrad Tuition by 1% JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri will raise in-state, undergraduate tuition by 1 percent beginning this fall. The increase was announced in a press release Monday, after university officials reached a deal with state lawmakers...
Colleges Wrestle with Issue of Using Students’ Fees for Controversial Speakers Katherine Kerwin didn’t like to see a portion of the student fees she pays being spent to bring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro to the University of Wisconsin. Kerwin didn’t agree with Shapiro’s criticism of what he said were attempts to chill fr...
Billionaire Gives $125M to University of Chicago Economic Department CHICAGO — Billionaire businessman Ken Griffin is donating $125 million to the University of Chicago’s Department of Economics. The university announced Griffin’s gift Wednesday, saying it’s the second-largest in school history and brings his perso...
Semantic Tags: