Campus Morning Mail, 2 March 2015
By Stephen Matchett
The Group of Eight’s submission to the Opposition initiated Senate committee inquiry into the Pyne Package MkII is concise but brevity does not compromise clarity. The Eight’s irritation with all who ignore, obfuscate or don’t understand what it sees as the clear case for deregulation is politely put on the record, again.
The submission spells out the need for a new funding stream and the consequences for research now and teaching in the future as demographic driven demand picks up, if nothing is done. And it makes carefully calibrated concessions to fears of a market red in tooth and claw, endorsing international student fees as a ceiling, minus Commonwealth contributions for domestic course costs, and supporting Australian Consumer and Competition Commission oversight.
Overall it takes a TINA line, suggesting there is no alternative to deregulating, with only impractical alternative ideas on the agenda. Thus the Eight sets out the options;
* increasing pubic funding per student and for research, “history would indicate this is unlikely to occur.”
* doing nothing, which will decay education quality and only delay dealing with the existing unsustainable system.
* adopting the “socially progressive” policy of increasing the per centage of costs paid by students, via HECS and without price caps
Only one option when you put it like that.