Students from La Trobe University will join national protests against changes to higher education.DARREN LINTON May 15, 2014 5:21am
La Trobe Student Union president Rose Steele said Tuesday’s federal budget measures heralded the end of the right to higher education for all.
Deregulated course fees means universities can charge what they like and from 2016 new students will have to pay a higher proportion of course costs.
Student loans will remain to fund up-front the cost of tertiary course.
But the Federal Government will charge higher interest of up to six per cent and graduates will also repay their HELP debts once they earn $50
Fee and loan changes won’t apply to present students until the end of 2020.
‘‘The proposed changes will push students who already struggle to make ends meet into a lifetime of debt,’’ Ms Steel said.
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne said new scholarships were designed to help more low socio-economic students make it to university.
‘‘Under the new higher education system we will also require that universities and other higher education providers spend $1 in every $5 of additional revenue raised on scholarships for disadvantaged students,’’ Mr Pyne said.
La Trobe University has a campus in Shepparton, but Ms Steele said regional students were already having to make choices about the affordability of moving away for university.
‘‘Regional students are already disadvantaged by the costs of relocating to study. The budget changes will only exacerbate the challenges of young people in rural and regional areas, further decreasing access,’’ she said.
La Trobe Student Union will join a national day of demonstrations on May 21.
National Union of Students president Deanna Taylor said the deregulation of fees would mean an entire generation of students presently moving through the high school system would be faced with new barriers to attending university, despite the government’s supposed commitment to equity.
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
GVAC women Rachel Pratt and Jacquie Fitzpatrick showed the men, and the large crowd at Rushworth Speedway on Saturday, March 28, they have what it takes when competing in the men’s classes.
Two international backpackers have taken aim at contractors who hired them to pick fruit in the region without payment.
Rochester boxing coach Chris Trewin and his team of dedicated trainers have been hitting the bag for more than six months and the results are beginning to show.
Local MP calls for community applications
A special event will take place at Pioneer Park on Sunday.
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Concerned Costerfield residents had the chance to voice their antimony health concerns last week after an independent facilitator was appointed.
Strathmerton clinched a win in the high-scoring game against Mathoura on the weekend in the PDFL North West competition.
Deniliquin swimming dynamo Stephen Dalzell has finished 13th overall in his preferred event at the Australian Age Championships.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative has set a date for a special meeting to vote on a new capital structure.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
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