Submissions to the University Accord process show that the fee hikes and funding cuts associated with the Job Ready Graduates scheme should be scrapped.
Lines attributable to Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens Deputy Leader and Education spokesperson:
“The Job Ready Graduates scheme is a cruel, punitive mess which desperately needs a clean-up. Fee hikes and funding cuts that punish students and deprive staff of resources was a disgraceful plan from day one and must be scrapped.
“Labor spoke a big game in opposition calling the scheme beyond repair, but have done nothing to reverse the harms of this policy disaster. In government, and with a progressive parliament, they have the numbers to immediately scrap these fee hikes and funding cuts to give some reprieve to a struggling sector.
“It’s clear as day that Job Ready Graduates was a disaster and yet Labor is refusing to act. It’s a pathetic abdication of responsibility.
“Labor needs to wake up to the fact that they are in Government. They don’t have to mindlessly continue Morrison’s mistakes, whether it be the Stage Three Tax Cuts or the Job Ready Graduates scheme.
“The intention of the Job Ready Graduates scheme was objectionable in the first place and it was a furphy that this scheme would encourage students into the so-called priority degrees. Students should be able to study whatever they want.
“Universities do not exist to churn out “job-ready” students. Education is not just about getting a job, it's about learning and acquiring knowledge.
“All the scheme has done is condemned generations of young people to decades of debt and pushed universities further into strife. It has entrenched gender inequality as women overwhelmingly study the courses which were hit hardest by the fee hikes and are incurring more and more student debt.
“Ultimately, education is a basic human right and a public good. Higher education should be free and fully funded by government with staff having secure work and fair wages and conditions”