The Greens plan to wipe student debt & ensure everyone can access a free, world-class education from early childhood, through school to TAFE and Uni.

Education is too expensive. From early childhood, through to school, TAFE & university, education should be for free, no matter who you are.

Liberal and Labor have allowed too much funding to go to private education and training institutions. 

The Greens plan includes free, high quality early childhood education and public schools that meet everyone’s needs. 

We will abolish student debts, and restore the TAFE system which has been privatised by Liberal and Labor.

And, we need to ensure that teachers, trainers, support staff, academics and early childhood educators are paid properly.

The Greens plan is for genuinely free education, for everyone.

Did you know:
Many of us have had access to free education – including uni – before. There is no reason why we can’t do it again. The Greens are the only party fighting for it in parliament.

Photo of a smiling person. Text reads, Childcare and early childhood education should be free

Free early childhood education and care

Early learning costs in Australia are out of control, and it’s holding kids back by denying them early learning opportunities.

High fees make our society less equal, and limit choices for women, who often give up study, career and work opportunities to take on caring responsibilities. Early childhood educators face low pay and poor working conditions, while centres are run for big profits.

Our childcare and early childhood education system is one of the most expensive in the world.

The Greens plan includes:

  • Invest $19bn over the next four years to ensure early childhood education and care is free and accessible for everyone
  • Extend universal access to early childhood education for all 3 and 4 year olds to 24 hours a week
  • Ensure early childhood educators have well paid, secure jobs
  • Strengthen early learning for First Nations children through support for First Nations community-controlled services
  • Boost women’s capacity to engage in paid work, and relieve financial pressure on parents, guardians and caregivers 
  • Phase out for-profit early learning and ensure every child has access to a high-quality government-provided or not-for-profit service

Free early childhood education and care 

Photo of a smiling person. Text reads, Public schools should be funded to meet every child’s needs, for free.

Public schools that meet everyone's needs

Liberal and Labor have given billions to private schools. At the same time, public schools are underfunded and desperate for resources. This means out-of-pocket costs are hiked up, and parents are forced to pay sometimes thousands of dollars of ‘voluntary fees’.

The Liberals have given Government money to private schools for infrastructure whilst public school playgrounds are filled with demountable classrooms, and students and staff swelter through summers without air conditioning.

If we don’t make a big investment in public schools, 99% won’t have the funding they need by 2023.

The Greens plan includes:

  • The largest investment in public education of any party
  • $49 billion to fully fund public schools, making school genuinely free for all students with the resources every student needs to learn
  • Ensure there’s no expenses for parents for out-of-school-hours activities such as sport and music, which should be considered essential parts of the public curriculum
  • Increase building and infrastructure funding to $400 m a year  and ensure that the majority of funds go to public schools
  • Invest $68.5 million to provide free period products in all schools to improve students’ health and wellbeing, reduce period stigma, and ensure that no student has to skip school during their period
  • Fund a national roll out of Our Watch’s successful respectful relationships program in all public schools, including pilot programs to help tailor training to address local contexts and maximise the impact

Public schools that meet everyone's needs 

Photo of a smiling person. Text reads, Free Universities and TAFE benefits everyone

Wipe Student Debt & Make TAFE and Uni Free

Enormous study debts are holding young people back. As they face high youth unemployment and record housing and living costs, young people struggle to afford a better life amidst great social inequality.

Nearly three million people owed an average of $23,685 in study debt in 2020-21. 

It’s time that young people were provided with relief from their debt sentence and money was put back into the pockets of those who need it most.

The Greens plan includes:

  • Abolish all student debt 
  • Fund lifelong free education for all
  • Guarantee every student a liveable income
  • Reversing the Liberals’ cuts and democratise our universities by giving power back to staff and students on campuses
  • Make our public universities and TAFEs sustainable and accessible through the Green Education Infrastructure Fund

Free TAFE and University  

Photo of a smiling person. Text reads, All students deserve to be on a living wage

Raise Youth Allowance, Abstudy & AuStudy

Too many students live in poverty and can’t keep their head above water. We need to increase the payments students receive.

One in seven students regularly goes without food and other necessities while studying, and nearly a third of students work more than 20 hours a week.

The Greens plan includes:

A liveable income for all students 

Photo of a smiling person. Text reads, Education wages are too low

Better pay for educators

Higher education is in crisis. Funding cuts have eroded the quality of education and research; staff face insecure working conditions; and academic freedom is increasingly being trampled on by corporate influence.

In 2019, 65% of all staff in universities were employed in insecure casual and fixed-term contracts.1

Staff working conditions influence student learning conditions. Academics, teachers and support staff need better pay and conditions for the important work they do.

For those working in Higher Ed, the Greens plan includes:

  • Reversing the Liberals’ cuts and boosting university funding by 10% to enable quality teaching, learning and research
  • Increasing job security and slashing casualisation at TAFE and uni
  • Investing in world class research by boosting block grant funding for universities by $5.5 billion
  • Establish a Secure Work for Researchers fund, to help universities and research institutes transition their workers to secure employment
  • Democratise our universities by giving power back to staff and students on campuses

Fund World Class Research & Secure work for staff

For those working in early childhood and P-12 schools:

  • Our Free Early Childhood Education and Childcare plan ensures early childhood educators have well paid, secure jobs.
  • Our Public Schools That Meet Everyone’s Needs plan ensures schools are properly funded and resourced, so teachers aren’t forced to dip into their own pocket to buy essential school supplies.

Well paid, secure jobs for Early Childhood Educators Public schools that meet everyone's needs 

  1. NTEU 2021-22 budget submission, derived from “Selected Higher Education Statistics – 2020 Staff data,”

Together, we’re powerful.

We're fighting to get real climate action, make the big corporations and billionaires pay their fair share of tax, and get dental and mental health in Medicare. The Greens are fighting for your future.