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CSU student body welcomes reform rejection

THE rejection of the federal government’s higher education reforms by the Senate on Tuesday has been welcomed by the head of Charles Sturt University’s (CSU) Wagga campus’ student body.
Nanjing Night Net

Rivcoll SRC president Brandon Harry said the committee was opposed to the reforms due to concerns about the increased financial pressures they may put on students.

“We didn’t want our universities to become a form of social barrier,” he said.

The reform package, which would have cut course funding and allowed universities to set their own fees, was defeated by the Senate on Tuesday night, 33 votes to 31.

It was then re-introduced in near-identical form to the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning, with the only change being that student loans would be indexed with CPI, rather than the 10-year government bond rate.

Mr Harry said the re-introduction of the bill was concerning for Rivcoll.

“Any other attempts to push these through parliament and the Senate in any form would be viewed as negative,” he said.

CSU vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann lamented the failure of the government to pass its reform through the Senate, saying it would continue to add touncertainty facing the university.

Professor Vann said he continued to be concerned about the proposal for equity scholarships in the reforms, which he believes will place regional students at a disadvantage.

“The university continues to be concerned about the proposed scholarship scheme advanced by the government as part of this package, in particular its distorting effect on university selection,” he said.

“The university has also made very clear that any package of investment for regional universities must be exclusively available for regional universities.”

Member for Riverina Michael McCormack acknowledged the government had faced difficulty in passing the reforms through a Senate “being a bit dogmatic over some issues”.

He maintained the reforms would be advantageous for CSU and other regional universities despite Professor Vann’s concerns.

“They could lead to some exciting possibilities for regional universities,” he said.

“With the deregulation of fees, (they could) be able to attract some Sydney students who otherwise might have only considered the metropolitan option.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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