Australia’s 39 vice-chancellors are united against federal government plans to slash funding, and plans to apply an interest rate of up to six per cent to student debts.
A Fairfax Media poll shows the nation’s vice-chancellors are divided on the question of deregulation of university fees, but are unanimously opposed to the other two measures.
University of Technology Sydney vice-chancellor Ross Milbourne is quoted as saying he doesn’t believe any vice-chancellor supports increasing the interest rate on HELP debt.
Meanwhile, UNSW acting vice-chancellor Iain Martin says they’re ‘surprised and concerned’ at how much the government’s planning to reduce its contribution to the cost of a degree and how that will impact on students.
Flinders University vice-chancellor Michael Barber warned that students will face debt levels as high as America under the proposed interest rate changes, ‘and we don’t want to see that here’.
Peak body Universities Australia is calling on the government to rethink both policies.