Thursday, April 3, 2014

Murdoch Guild rates SA higher ed policy with "distinction"

The Murdoch Student Guild has rated parties contesting the upcoming senate election on their higher education polices and given Socialist Alliance a "distinction".

A post on the Guild's Facebook page explained that "the Guild went to the trouble of analysing each party's higher education policy" given there is a "special bonus chance senate election this Saturday".

"It was disappointing that many parties, even major ones like Family First and the Nationals don't even have any higher education so we only graded those who do."

"To get a high distinction, parties had to award knighthoods to all university students," the note declared. "Sadly, no party aimed this high."

It turns out that the criteria for getting a distinction is that a party has to promise to abolish university fees.

The Socialist Alliance education policy demands: "Free, quality, secular education. No upfront university fees; abolish the Higher Education Contribution Scheme; abolish all TAFE fees and fees for post graduate and overseas students."

Further the policy demands also "a guaranteed independent income for students. A fully indexed, living wage for students set well above the poverty line; abolish the student loans scheme, pay apprentices at least the base rate for a qualified tradesperson during their training."

These demands are eminently realistic and can be achieved with a reorienting of social priorities towards the needs of people instead of the greed of billionaires.