The National Union of Students held a national day of action on May 11 in response to the federal budget and the ongoing attempts to deregulate university fees.
Thousands of students attended rallies in cities around Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle, taking a stand against the government’s attacks.
University fee deregulation could see course costs rise to $100,000 per year or more. This would severely impact working class students and force many to abandon university education.
On top of this, the Liberals are expected to lower the HECS repayment threshold to those earning just $42,000 per year if they win the July 2 election. This would force students to begin repayments much sooner than under the current scheme.
The government’s education counter reforms have been delayed so far due to student and public outrage. At the time of writing no plans had been announced for university funding by the opposition Labor Party.
No matter who wins the next election students will need to continue the fight to defend public education. No cuts to education should be accepted. Instead big business should be taxed at higher rates to fund an expanded and free public education system from childcare to university.
By Dane Letcher