Free Market Education Reform: A Young Debt Sentence

In the seventies university was free.

Heck even in the eighties university was free.

But no thanks to Labor catalysing a debtficit we have yet to climb out of and a tunnel vision five years overspent watering Bush’s personal bodycount (which we all seem to have forgotten about), 2014 was nothing but a degenerative spiral of public funding needs and cutbacks across almost all sectors.

Free_Education_for_EveryoneWith a proposed deregulation of the tertiary fees system promising to pass through the Senate, education is one step closer to becoming a debt sentence for aspiring university goers with fees jumping an incremental 28.4% YoY from 2015 to 2016.

You would think that the gradual increase in ratio acceptance of international students affording astronomical fees would cover some of the existing financial backlash to domestic students. Yet increasing fee percentages show no sign of leveling out.

To throw wood in the fire, plans to burden students with real interest on loans may just be Abbott-Pyne’s bait-and-switch strategy to ease the public into coming to terms with current and expected increases. It could be worse, we’re told.

Easy enough to say coming from a handful of ‘honest’ voices whose own tertiary experience was fully funded!

Admittedly, though, our politicians have a lot on their plate. Australia can’t compete by the numbers. Our manufacturing sector is flushing down the drain. Farmers are still having a dry run. Retail is struggling to compete with digital migration and technology. And our tech sector is still tailing Silicon Valley and China. Labour largely needs extensive retraining for migration into other industries and Australia looks to maintain the economies only comparative advantage as a “leading hub for scientific research and innovation”. So what are they doing increasing education limitations? Will we still be a leading scientific hub in the next decade when only the 3% can afford higher education?

Notwithstanding, soaring property prices inflated by Chinese coin remain a top revenue source. Australia’s leading priority in attracting global investment is fuelled by investors who still look here for our excellent lifestyle, education and healthcare benefits. One less incentive for a leading agenda as education goes off the list.

I just can’t quite grasp the logic behind the bipartisan politics. But I can all but expect that by the time my teenager is of age, tertiary education will only be a place for the 3%.

Now Labor has taken responsibility for the repercussions of a debt spiral by lobbying against the Abbott governments’ plans to deregulate tertiary education, but is it too late?

It might not be. Get up and sign the petition to take action here.

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Hoi Sze Lam

Hoi Sze Lam is an autodidact of all things digital marketing, and is a privacy advocate with a keen interest in cyber affairs. Given the time she reads, breathes and follows good food, wood fires, travel and technology from down under.

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