Skype News Live (PM Agenda), 11 March 2015
Hosted by David Speers
Go8 CEO Vicki Thomson discusses the fee reform package (video)
Video link: http://www.skynews.com.au/video/program_agenda/2015/03/11/getting-uni-reform-through-a–challenge-.html#ooid=prNmd2czqDBGzcxEWNoduBZG8OzY0XCt
Interview with Vicki Thomson, CEO of the Group of Eight about higher education reforms. Thomson says Christopher Pyne is negotiating his way through a tricky crossbench and it is looking unlikely that the reforms will get through in their current state. Thomson says the majority of the sector wants the reforms to get through. Thomson says the Government hasn’t sold the package as well as they could. She says the package is a good one and if we miss this opportunity, the debate may not come up again for a while. Thomson says there are already degrees which cost over $100, 000 and have for some time (physiotherapy, psychiatry). Thomson says Senator Glenn Lazarus is too busy to talk to the Group of Eight. She says the Group has had good discussions with Palmer United and Senator Nick Xenophon. Thomson discusses the idea of a cap on course fees, saying we don’t want to compromise the package too much. Thomson says the Group of Eight doesn’t support re-capping of university places. Speers says Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has put targets in place in relation to higher education, including to have 40% of young Australians in possession of a bachelor’s degree by 2035. Thomson says if the reforms don’t go through, there will be implications for quality.