This morning at Southern Cross University, staff will be joined by students and supporters at all campuses as part of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Branch National Day of Protest 2017.
NTEU National President, Jeannie Rea says that with the federal budget having confirmed the government intends to swindle students by charging more for degrees at the same time as cutting teaching funding to universities.
‘The NTEU has called the National Day of Protest under the banner of “Pay More Get Less” to highlight impacts on staff and students.’
Ms Rea feels that if the government’s higher education reform package passes the Senate, there will be an immediate detrimental impact on staff and students, through job losses, bigger class sizes, less course choice, more support services cut and even more employment insecurity.
‘More jobs require university qualifications than ever before and so we have more students in higher education than ever before. More people are struggling with repaying HECS/HELP debts.
‘International students are contributing millions of dollars to the Australian economy. Yet Australian public investment in higher education remains amongst the lowest of advanced economies while tuition fees are amongst the highest.’
‘That’s why we are calling on politicians to heed the calls of the sector – staff, students and, in a welcome show of unity, vice chancellors – to stand up as defenders of higher education, and oppose the government’s measures.’
The rally will be held in Goodman Plaza – Southern Cross University Lismore Campus, Military Rd, Lismore. The event will begin at 11.45am with live music by local musicians Monkey and the Fish.
Speakers include SCU Vice Chancellor Adam Shoemaker, local comedian Mandy Nolan, and student and staff representatives at the microphone.
And – free pizza! Woo Hoo!