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Latest VET saga shows need for Government funds to be redirected into TAFE

Robert Simms 11 Feb 2016

The collapse of a major college in the VET sector leaving thousands of students stranded and hundreds of workers in limbo highlights the need for the Government to redirect investment into TAFE, rather than for-profit providers, the Australian Greens say.

"This is yet another example of students being dudded by Government policy. While reforms passed by the Parliament last year provide some safeguards, the for-profit model will never guarantee high quality courses for students," Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said.

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Save Our Scholarships

Robert Simms 4 Feb 2016

Last year, Labor and the Liberals came together to hike up HELP fees for university students by converting the Student Start-Up Scholarship into a loan.

The Student Start-Up Scholarship allows students from disadvantaged or low income backgrounds to purchase the textbooks and equipment they need to study, and for many it is the difference between being able to pay their rent or buy groceries, and not. The Scholarship is a necessity for most students on Youth Allowance, not a choice.

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Greens urge Government to drop its planned attack on TAFE system

Robert Simms 3 Feb 2016

Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms is calling on the Government to drop its outrageous idea to force TAFE institutions to focus on chasing profits rather than providing quality tertiary education.

"This latest leak from the Liberals shows the Government clearly didn't get the memo that Australians value affordable higher education. TAFE institutions around the country are vital in providing people with access to tertiary education, a pathway to a career change or a specialist course in a field they are passionate about," Senator Simms said.

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Ban college brokers and scrap public funding for for-profits

Robert Simms 22 Jan 2016

The Australian Greens have welcomed the proposal to ban private colleges using brokers to sell courses, and have urged the Government to scrap public funding for the entire for-profit VET sector.

"The Greens welcome the Government's attempts to re-draw the for-profit VET sector. Over the past few years private training colleges have ripped off thousands of students, leaving them with huge debts and little prospect of gaining employment with worthless degrees," The Greens spokesperson on Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms, said.

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Higher Education Update - January 2016

Robert Simms 22 Jan 2016

This edition of the Higher Education Update e-newsletter covers Senator Simms' background in the higher education sector, the successful #stoplomborg campaign, the Overseas HELP Bill, campaigning to save Start-Up Scholarships, concerning developments in the VET FEE-HELP sector, the need to save Radio Adelaide, and more. Simply click the link below to download the PDF.

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Greens call on government to rule out lowering HECS threshold

Robert Simms 15 Jan 2016

The Greens have called on Education Minister Simon Birmingham to rule out lowering the HELP (HECS) repayment threshold following media reports the idea is being considered.

"HECS debt can take a significant slice out of your income. Lowering the repayment threshold will place an increased burden on low income earners at a time when cuts to penalty rates and an increase in the GST are already on the table," said Greens Higher Education Spokesperson, Robert Simms.

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NSW must prioritise TAFE funding

Robert Simms 13 Jan 2016

The Australian Greens have called on the NSW Government to stop pulling stunts with the state's TAFE sector and prioritise its funding.

"Freezing TAFE fees will not bring students back. Enrolments are already down dramatically and a fee freeze is nothing but a desperate stop-gap measure," The Greens spokesperson on Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms said.

"Cuts and fee increases from the NSW Government have contributed to driving people away from TAFE and it is imperative that we reverse these cuts, challenge the contestability model and adequately fund the sector.

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NSW must prioritise TAFE funding

Robert Simms 13 Jan 2016

The Australian Greens have called on the NSW Government to stop pulling stunts with the state's TAFE sector and prioritise its funding.

"Freezing TAFE fees will not bring students back. Enrolments are already down dramatically and a fee freeze is nothing but a desperate stop-gap measure," The Greens spokesperson on Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms said.

"Cuts and fee increases from the NSW Government have contributed to driving people away from TAFE and it is imperative that we reverse these cuts, challenge the contestability model and adequately fund the sector.

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NSW should prioritise TAFE over a shambolic for-profit VET sector

Robert Simms 14 Dec 2015

The Australian Greens have warned NSW against stripping funding to TAFEs across the state, warning similar collapses could happen like those interstate.

The Greens spokesperson on High Education, Senator Robert Simms, questioned why the NSW Government would make such a decision when the for-profit VET sector is in such a shambles.

"The for-profit VET sector is currently in a deep state of disrepair in NSW and across the country. Indeed, the NSW Government has deregistered eight companies this year for malpractice," Senator Simms said.

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