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Uni Enrolment Slump Reveals Gendered Downturn

Media Release
Mehreen Faruqi 12 Nov 2020

The Greens have responded to new ABS data showing an alarming drop in women studying at university in 2020 as compared to 2019.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for Education, said:

“I’ve said from the very start that women have borne the brunt of the impacts of Covid-19.

“These numbers challenge the assumption that people will enrol to study when there’s an economic downturn. Women are still doing much of the unpaid care work during these hard times. They are the ones now having to give up the opportunity to go to uni.

“The government’s plan to hike up university fees and cut funding for courses with a high proportion of women enrolled will be another barrier to university education.

“With the Covid recession rolling on, the government should be making it easier for women to go to uni, not hiking up fees and cutting course funding,” she said.

Senator Larissa Waters, Greens spokesperson for Women, said:

“The Morrison Government never thinks twice about how its policies will disproportionately disadvantage women and widen the gender pay gap, and the increase in uni fees is a perfect example.

“You don’t find inequities if you don’t look for them, and that’s why this Government needs more women in Cabinet and a Women’s Budget Impact Statement to reveal the gendered impacts of their decisions.”

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