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Don’t punish students for poor government decisions: Greens

Robert Simms 6 Apr 2016

The Australian Greens are urging the government to drop its deregulation agenda that seeks to punish students by hiking up the cost of university course fees.

"Students shouldn't be penalised for poor policy decisions by the Liberal and Labor parties which have led to the government writing off billions of taxpayer dollars due to bad debts associated with the for-profit VET sector," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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Liberals must rule out HECS grab from the dead

Robert Simms 23 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens say the Government must rule out collecting HECS from the dead and hiking up university fees in order to make up its budget shortfall, following speculation the idea is in consideration.

"We know the Liberals hound students while they are alive and now they are even considering chasing them beyond the grave," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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Evocca’s broken business model fails students and staff: Greens

Robert Simms 17 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens are calling on the government to make contingency plans for the flood of staff who have just lost their jobs and students who will lose their places at private training college Evocca, as the broken for-profit VET sector continues to crumble.

"My thoughts go out to the 220 Evocca employees who have been made redundant today and 900 students who will be affected by Evocca's decision to close 17 campuses across the country.

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University students need extra support, not higher fees

Robert Simms 11 Mar 2016

The Greens say the government must abandon its plans to increase university student fees and instead focus on building a sector that provides quality and affordable education, following Education Minister Simon Birmingham's speech to Universities Australia.

"Increasing university fees will saddle students with a lifetime of debt. Australians don't want to see a US-style education system where access to university is based on your bank balance," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms.

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More funding, security needed for universities: Greens

Robert Simms 9 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens are calling on Education Minister Simon Birmingham to commit to providing universities with adequate funding following a plea from Universities Australia for direction from the government.

"We've heard today that the university sector is on tenterhooks waiting for the government's next move on university funding. The lack of direction being provided by this government leaves both universities and students in a state of flux, uncertain of what the future holds," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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VET reforms failing students shows need to overhaul for-profit sector

Robert Simms 8 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens are calling on more support for VET students and increased funding for TAFE amid the continuing failures of the for-profit VET sector.

"The news that up to 24,000 students could be forced by the Phoenix Institute to pay $300 million in course fee loans for an education they won't receive highlights the deficiency in the VET reforms passed by parliament late last year. For as long as we have private for-profit providers receiving public funds, students are at risk of exploitation," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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Simms in the Senate Update - March 2016

This edition of Simms in the Senate covers the Greens' campaign to make schools safe for LGBTI students, why there should be no nuclear waste dump in South Australia, the inquiry into BP's exploration of the Great Australian Bight, green cars being key to SA's economic future, a Valentine's Day push for marriage equality legislation, how to take the 2016 Student Survey, and more. Simply click the link below to download the PDF, or email Senator Simms to be added to the mailing list.

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