The recommendations made in the Gonski review are fair and needed, but cutting tertiary education spending by $2.8 billion sure makes it hard to get excited about their implementation. Students will no longer be eligible for discounts on up-front fee payments, and will need to pay back the more than $2,000 in yearly scholarship grants they receive while on Austudy. Also, the tax deduction threshold for study-related expenditure will be lowered. It’s a student support wipe out, any way you look at it.


  1. Hi Catalyst

    Following today’s rallies against the funding cuts from tertiary institutions, I find it a specious position to hold that such cuts are are a “wipe out” to student support. Though the Gonski is not in strong support of private education, if any support at all, it does not in any way you look at it wipe out support for the students with the least opportunity.

    The Gonski Report found 78% of all students with ‘funded’ disabilities go to government schools, as well as 85% of indigenous students and 68% of students that come from a non-English speaking background. Also, almost 80% of students in public schools are from relatively poor, ill-educated households.

    Yes, the cut from tertiary education is weighty, but the money that graduates will now have to pay back (in particular the $2000 student scholarships) will be paid back on the basis that the graduates will be earning the money in their chosen professions.

    So I believe that private institutions will always do what they have always done: i.e. absorb change because they have the resources to find the support.

    Jay Carmichael
    PWE Student

  2. The use of the word “wipeout” is a clear reference to Dr Craig Emerson using the expression “Whyalla wipeout” in relation to Tony Abbott’s rhetoric surrounding the carbon tax. While the Gonski reforms are positive, taking the money out of the higher education system contradicts the Government’s promise of a fairer, smarter country.

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