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Government dumps Lomborg

Robert Simms 21 Oct 2015

The Australian Greens welcome the Federal Government today confirming they are dropping the push to set up a Lomborg Consensus Centre in Australia.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham revealed the plan had been abandoned during questioning for estimates from the Greens spokesperson for Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms.

"I am relieved to today learn that the Federal Government have dropped their $4 million ‘captain's pick' of setting up a Bjorn Lomborg ‘Consensus Centre' in Australia," Senator Simms said.

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Inquiry demonstrates need to clamp down on for-profit VET providers

Robert Simms 15 Oct 2015

The Greens have renewed their push to clamp down on for-profit VET providers in light of the findings from the Senate Inquiry into the operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training (VET) providers in Australia.

The inquiry found that for-profit, vocational providers are providing sub-standard qualifications that are failing to meet the needs of students and often leaving them with mountains of debt.

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Greater support needed for rural students

Robert Simms 14 Oct 2015

The Greens spokesperson for Higher Education, Robert Simms, called for greater support for rural students who would like to attend University.

He said that many regional students faced significant structural barriers.

"Many rural students who would like to attend university face numerous structural barriers. For those who would like to move to the city, we need to ensure that Youth Allowance and Austudy provides enough support for them to meet their basic needs without compromising their ability to meet study requirements.

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Greens back funding increase for our universities

Robert Simms 7 Oct 2015

The Australian Greens spokesperson for Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms, has backed the call for greater investment in Australia's public universities by Universities Australia.

"It is a terrible indictment on the current Government and the value that it places on our public universities that we are languishing at the bottom of advanced economies in terms of our public investment", Senator Simms said.

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Stronger regulation needed in VET sector

Robert Simms 6 Oct 2015

The Australian Greens spokesperson for Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms, is calling for greater powers for the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) so they can do their job - regulating the VET education system.

"We are seeing a ballooning of the private, for-profit VET providers, who have a free reign over this unregulated sector. This puts students at risk of being saddled with debt for worthless degrees," Senator Simms said.

"The business model of these institutions is about maximizing profit at the expense of student outcomes.

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Greens Welcome Govt's Deregulation Back-down

Robert Simms 1 Oct 2015

The Greens Spokesperson for Higher Education, Senator Robert Simms has welcomed the Government's announcement that it is abandoning attempts to deregulate the University sector during this term.

"Today's announcement is testament to the strong campaign run across the community against these reforms. Australians have well and truly rejected the Government's vision for a US style University system that prioritises wealth and privilege over access and opportunity."

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Greens Call On Minister Birmingham to Reject Sandstone Cash-Grab

Robert Simms 29 Sep 2015

The Australian Greens spokesperson for Higher Education, Robert Simms, calls on Education Minster Simon Birmingham to reject the Group of Eight universities' push for a two tiered research system.

"The Group of Eight universities' push to restrict funding for PhD and master's research would completely undermine the foundations of our public university system," Senator Simms said.

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Greens call for funding shake-up of private education providers

Robert Simms 27 Sep 2015

The Australian Greens spokesperson for Higher Education, Robert Simms, says the potential class action against for-profit provider, Evocca College, highlights the need to crackdown on private operators accessing government funding.

Senator Simms said a lack of regulation and oversight leaves students at risk of exploitation and receiving sub-standard degrees.

"It's time for an overhaul of vocational education training in Australia. We really need a system that puts quality in education above the profit margins of private businesses."

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About Robert Simms

Robert Simms is an Australian Greens Senator for South Australia. He was endorsed by the South Australian Parliament in September 2015 and is the first out gay man to represent SA in the Federal Parliament. He is the Australian Greens' spokesperson for Higher Education, Sexuality and Marriage Equality, and Water and the Murray Darling Basin.

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