Don't Privatise Our Unis

Public universities need our help - support our campaign

In April 2014, a review commissioned by Education Minister Christopher Pyne called for:

  • Private, for-profit institutions having the same access to government funding as public universities
  • Increasing student fees to pay for new private subsidies
  • Scrapping targets aimed at getting more students from disadvantaged backgrounds into uni.

The Abbott government is considering these drastic changes, which would hurt universities and students.

Universities that are already facing uncertainty and significant budget stress. The Abbott government is already proposing to rip $6.4 billion out of universities over the next four years.

The Greens will fight attempts privatise our university system.

Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne must rule out redirecting public funds to private, for-profit institutions.

We’ve already seen the devastating impact that unfair competition from private providers is having on TAFE. Thousands of TAFE teachers have lost their jobs, student fees have skyrocketed and TAFE campuses have been forced into mergers.

We will oppose restricting access to university for disadvantaged students.

We need to do more, not less, to help these students get into uni. The government must reject calls to increase fees and scrap participation targets.

Sign our petition and join our campaign.

Where the Greens stand:

Free education - The Greens believe that all Australians are entitled to free, well-funded and high quality, life-long education and training.  Beyond the school years, a well-funded, public higher education sector is the key to growing Australia’s future economic prosperity. We will fight attempts privatise our university system.

Equity and Access - Our higher education system should be fair for all students who participate in it.  Yet people from low socio-economic backgrounds remain substantially under-represented in higher education. The Greens are committed to making sure all prospective students can access affordable quality courses, and receive adequate financial support to complete their studies.

Supporting students - The Greens stand for equitable access to affordable or free education for all domestic students, supported by appropriate living allowances and minimising student debt.  The Greens call on all universities to support their democratically elected student bodies.

Academic workforce - The academic workforce is over-stretched and faces increasing casualisation.   Some university Vice Chancellors are cutting teaching and administrative jobs to solve budget problems, which undermines a sustainable academic workforce to teach the increasing number of students and expand our research capacity. 

Lee Rhiannon is the Australian Greens spokesperson on higher education, universities and vocational education and training (VET).


Latest on Don't Privatise Our Unis


Greens condemn massive job cuts at La Trobe University

28 Feb 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for higher education, Senator Lee Rhiannon has condemned La Trobe University’s decision to sack 15% of its workforce.


Labor votes with Coalition to block Greens Senate motion calling for increase to university funding

10 Dec 2013

Labor has failed to support a Greens Senate motion calling for a boost to university base funding by 10 per cent to improve the quality of higher education.


SA unis to lose $78m unless Labor joins Greens to stop Abbott cuts

30 Nov 2013

More than $78 million will be ripped out of South Australian universities in the next four years if the Coalition's cuts to higher education go ahead, say Australian Greens Senators for South Australia Penny Wright and Sarah Hanson Young.


Pyne’s ‘deregulate’ call first step to lower university standards?

24 Oct 2013

Senator Rhiannon has criticised Christopher Pyne's plans to deregulate the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency.


Greens Oppose Abbott’s plan to privatise HECS debt

16 Oct 2013

MEDIA COMMENT: Greens Oppose Abbott’s plan to privatise HECS debt

Responding to reports today that the Coalition government is investigating options to privatise $23 billion worth of HECS debt (, Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

View all