Calling all Aussies! This week will decide the tertiary education Bill

Now Minister Pyne is trying to blackmail the crossbench senators.

Read this:

He’s been quoted as saying that, “There are consequences for not voting for this reform and that’s very important for the cross benchers to understand,”
These consequences include the sacking of some 1700 scientists and researchers, claiming that if he cannot achieve savings in education, he will reduce funding for scientific research. Idiot!

It smacks of bullying. He’s not the first in this government to declare “my way or the highway”. I don’t think he’ll be the last. Hmph.

Labor and the Greens are opposed to this bill, so he needs six crossbench senators to agree. If you’re an Aussie, please try and find a way to contact your crossbench senators to ensure they’ll vote it down. D-Day is apparently Wednesday.
In case anyone needs reminding (in the words of John Kelly), “includes a big emphasis on deregulation, meaning increases in fees for students that will, in some cases, render a University education unaffordable, for others, carrying a heavy financial burden into their professional lives, assuming they are able to find appropriate employment when they finish. … [It] originally included interest loans for students to be pegged to the bond rate, but has now been linked to the Consumer Price Index. It also contained a 20% funding cut to courses which now appears to be open to negotiation.”

I am a university student. While my course is not as expensive as some, it’s still going to be a pretty big debt, especially since I’m doing part-time due to circumstances. Add to the fact that I’m a commuting regional student, forced to spend at least $25 a week for public transport (don’t get me started on living “on res” or in Melbourne itself; waaaay too expensive right now) and the fact that I’ll be taking time off work sometime (10+ years) in the future for family and such…. You begin to feel my annoyance. I’m just one of many voices grumbling similar things.

Of course, uni is not the only option. TAFE and other such vocational training efforts, including apprenticeships, need support also.

Education – all education – along with health, is just one of those things that needs to be valued, for it is bloody important.

Everyone deserves a chance to have it.

UPDATE – look!!

Gah, Dunno if you can see it (quality of the screenshot is lousy), but….announcement: Pyne has backed down on his threat to cut research funding & jobs if he didn’t get his way. He’s guaranteed funding for this year at least. Phew.

But we do need to be aware of these sorts of things. Apparently, Australia’s education standards and such are slipping. At a time when people in other countries are threatened for going to school and such, we need to remember that education is important. Bigots and such dislike true education, because it gives “the masses” power. To decide their own futures, to push themselves out of bad circumstances….etc.

Value your education, in whatever form it takes. Life education can be good; but supporting education is great.

Yes, I’m at uni today. How could you tell?

pyne backs down for now

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