One way to silence university lobbyists

TAFE Directors Australia and private providers ACPET and COPHE are running a unity ticket on higher education reform, regardless of what the Senate does with the present bill.

The TAFE leaders make common cause with the Australian Council for Private Education and Training and the Council of Private Higher Education in protesting at favourable treatment of public universities in the government’s legislation.

They call for “equitable and fair access” to higher education for students at private universities and non-university HE providers, who are charged a 25 per cent levy on FEE HELP loans, “simply for choosing a provider other than a university.”

And they argue their members should have equal access to the sub degree places the government wants universities to teach.

Private universities and NUHEPs provide real alternatives and choices for students seeking to access higher education. Many focus on limited fields of education with courses targeting the needs of their students and industry. This includes fields including theology, applied psychology, creative industries, health and public safety,” the peak bodies state.

The only possible advantage for Simon Birmingham in adopting any of these ideas now is that it would shut the very voluble public universities up – what with their becoming speechless with rage.