Labor’s election agenda   

What’s on offer: A Labor Government will increase university funding by $10bn over a decade, Opposition education shadow minister Tanya Plibersek told the Universities Australia conference yesterday. And she renewed the party’s promise to reinstate demand driven funding of undergraduate places for the 2020 academic year.  Ms Pibersek also announced a Labor Government would, “guarantee three-funding agreements

Labor, will “return certainty and funding autonomy to the sector,” she said.

Ms Plibersek also committed Labor to reforming international education exports, promising an expanded advisory body, including the VET sector and a new five-year plan.

She also presented long-awaited details on the post school inquiry, which “will be as significant” as Julia Gillard’s Bradley Review and Gough Whitlam’s Kangan Review.

A catch? Heavens no: Although, Ms Plibersek did say Labor would include requirements in funding agreements with individual universities.

“As publicly funded organisations Australians rightly expect that universities to contribute to our social, cultural and economic development.”

In particular, she specified, “addressing sexual assault and harassment on campus and in residential colleges”. And she warned that if universities did not lift entry standards for teacher education degrees, “as federal minister for education I would have the ability to cap places in teaching degrees – and that option will remain a live one in any future discussions.”


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