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Senate demands Abbott government stop wasting public money on higher education consultants

Lee Rhiannon 13 Aug 2015

The Senate today has passed a Greens motion calling on Education Minister Christopher Pyne to stop wasting public resources in his attempts to wreck public higher education in Australia.

Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon moved the motion in response to Mr Pyne's recent spend of $150,000 to hire an external negotiator to convince the cross bench to support his twice failed deregulation bill.

"This could well be the first time the Senate has passed a motion saying the Education Minister is wrecking public education in Australia.

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Greens launch campaign for Free Higher Education

Lee Rhiannon 31 Jul 2015

The Greens have launched their campaign for ‘Free Higher Education' to set out the alternative to Abbott government's deregulation plan for public universities.

Campaign website: 

"We launched our campaign in a Sydney pub room packed with university students, young Greens members, unionists, TAFE campaigners and high school students," said Greens spokesperson for tertiary, technical and further education Senator Lee Rhiannon.

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Free and fair higher education

Lee Rhiannon 30 Jul 2015

Australia needs a visionary approach to creating a universally accessible higher education system with no financial barriers and open to people from all backgrounds. Many countries have achieved this and the Greens believe that we can too. Join us as we build a campaign to bring education opportunity to all Australians.

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Flinders University should reject cash for dodgy Lomborg scheme

South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has written to the Flinders University Council and Chancellor urging them to follow the University of Western Australia and reject the Abbott government’s desperate bid to find a host for climate sceptic Bjorn Lomborg.

"Flinders University should reject the Abbott Governments bribery of research money in exchange for hosting the climate sceptic Bjorn Lomborg," South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today.

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Flinders University: say no to the cash for Lomborg scheme

The Australian Greens have called on Flinders University to follow the University of Western Australia and reject the Abbott government's desperate bid to find a host for climate sceptic Bjorn Lomborg.

"It would be extraordinary if Flinders University accepted Education Minister Christopher Pyne's $4 million to host Bjorn Lomborg whose work has been widely discredited by both scientists and economists," Greens spokesperson for higher education Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

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TAFE cuts in NSW budget call for national reform

Lee Rhiannon 24 Jun 2015

Off the back of the savage TAFE cuts in the NSW budget, the Greens are calling on the Abbott government and the Labor opposition to agree to rewrite COAG agreements so TAFE can again be a well-resourced public vocational education and training provider.

"News that NSW TAFE numbers have plummeted in the past three years, a trend occurring around the country, highlights the need for the federal government to urgently change the federal rules TAFE operates under," Greens technical and higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

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Greens launch Western Sydney 'stop TAFE privatisation' tour

Lee Rhiannon 12 Jun 2015

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW MP John Kaye will be visiting Western Sydney TAFE campuses today to call on local state and federal MPs, both Labor and Liberal, to stop their parties' push to privatise TAFE.

The Greens will meet with students, staff, teachers and community members to discuss how the competitive funding reforms are decimating TAFE in Western Sydney.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: "Despite the critical importance of TAFE to Western Sydney, its future is now in question.

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Liberal Party willingly take political donations from university that Abbott govt funds

Lee Rhiannon 4 Jun 2015

Despite Liberal and Labor MPs receiving generous political donations from three NSW universities the Abbott government has failed to recognise that this is an abuse of public funding, Greens higher education and democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

Last night in Senate estimates, Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham and Associate Secretary Robert Griew were questioned by Senator Rhiannon about political donations made by universities.

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Australian Skills and Quality Authority)

Lee Rhiannon 3 Jun 2015

Senator RHIANNON: I want to clarify those figures. I am interested in since 25 February; you would obviously remember the date when the minister announced ASQA would undertake an audit of 23 RTOs. Have any audits into other RTOs been launched since then?

Mr Robinson : Yes. In terms of our audits, I will get that information for you.

Senator RHIANNON: Can you tell us which RTOs too, please?

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Australian Research Council)

Lee Rhiannon 3 Jun 2015

Senator RHIANNON: I would like to ask about the Industrial Transformation Research Program. I understand that the purpose of this $40 million program is to foster closer collaboration between industries and universities. What I am trying to understand is whether the research hubs based at the universities are collaborating with specific businesses or just industry in a generic sense?

Prof. Byrne : I would like to perhaps table this document-

CHAIR: Hello! You can tell it is Education today!

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