Ag Institute Australia has expressed its concerns changes to university fees would have a detrimental effect on the nation's agriculture sector.JARROD WHITTAKER June 12, 2014 3:37am
The head of a key agriculture body has criticised the impact of higher education changes on agriculture graduates, saying the changes will undermine plans to become the food bowl of Asia.
Ag Institute Australia national board chairman Mike Stephens slammed the changes, which could result in students paying double the current fees for their degrees.
‘‘Don’t try and make sense out of something that’s nonsense,’’ Mr Stephens said.
‘‘It just beggars belief that on one hand we can have politicians saying we’re going to play our part in feeding the world and on the other we’re going to make the cost of education much higher.’’
He said in recent years the number of students studying agriculture-related degrees had increased.
‘‘There was a major problem up until three or four years ago, but we’ve now got good people coming into the system,’’ Mr Stephens said.
‘‘But we won’t keep them with this nonsense about fees.’’
He said if fees increased, more people would be attracted to study in areas such as business, where higher wages meant people could pay off their education costs quicker.
‘‘It will put it out of the financial reach of a significant number of potential candidates,’’ Mr Stephens said.
His comments come as The Weekly Times newspaper revealed it would be cheaper to study an agricultural degree in New Zealand and pay for living expenses than study in Australia.
The Weekly Times said an Australian degree could cost $112
Mr Stephens said while he had not seen the figures, cheaper costs would drive students overseas.
‘‘You’d go to New Zealand, you wouldn’t stay here and you might come back or you might not,’’ he said.
Mr Stephens said there were benefits to agriculture graduates gaining overseas experience.
‘‘There’s a lot we can learn about New Zealand and in some ways it’s good for students to spend time overseas,’’ he said.
‘‘But our institutes in Australia have to be able to attract the best and the brightest.’’
Two men charged over the armed robbery of a Shepparton service station have been remanded in custody until next week.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.