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What students want from the Federal Government

The Government needs to help students more, writes Joshua Thomas. 

 

The Federal Government needs to develop a budget that’s distributed more fairly and with more consideration for university students causing many class divisions and differences in wealth (L. Velez, G. Beatty) to the rest of society. Many students are facing financial hardships and want the  Government to ease cost of living pressures. The Government could do more especially for international students, and provide more benefits for those who need additional healthcare.

 

Interviewing students at Western Sydney University, students believe more needs to be done with concession cards, healthcare, Centrelink and rising costs. A few university students we talked to did not think the Government should be spending so much money for Centrelink as this creates inequality between international students and domestic students. There is also much inequality for students who need additional benefits around healthcare. Heather Mwando said that ‘infastructure and environmental actions’ need to be focus on more. A group of nursing students wrote in the surveys that money should be spent more wisely so that everyone can benefit, including international students. Collectively, university students report that Liberal is not “executing their promises”. Students report problems with expensive fees for international students, money not invested wisely with payments to the public, and the Centrelink sector needing to be faster and more efficient.

 

The Liberal Party’s website indicates the Liberals are investing more money (billions) into universities than Labour (millions). A small random sample of university students I spoke to view the Labour Party’s policies on education as providing more opportunities. They report ‘Labour are providing more opportunities because they are making a plan to provide free education’. However, the Liberals are looking to provide $2 billion in university funding for 2022 to alleviate the shortfall created by having lost international students. The Liberal Government is trying to upgrade the infrastructure and facilities for universities as well as increasing the quality of teaching which university students see as positive and have delivered on their promise providing $20 billion dollars in funding to universities in 2022. Labour seem to be focusing on collective future opportunities such as apprenticeships for the workforce rather than the value of quality teaching. Liberal are looking to invest in 30,000 new student placements over 2022 rather than 20,000 placements under the Labour Government.

 

Labors policy on university funding is providing $481.7 million and creating additional courses in climate change, advanced manufacturing, health, and education.  Labor has a stronger policy on welfare and looking after the marginalized in the community. They intend to provide more funding for the sector of child care service. Labor has stronger climate change and energy policies than the Liberals. University students value Labour as ‘Labor is aiming to plan more sustainable goals and incentives for students as they are establishing an Australian Universities Accord to drive lasting reform at our universities as well as providing new funding which is flexible as needs arise.

 

Helping make a decision on where people go after school by providing job seekers with the National Careers Institute, the Liberal party are seeking to help those who want to go to university make a wise decision. Their measures are designed to boost small businesses. This is crucial in the job sector as small businesses provide new products on the market, meet the needs of larger organisations and inject a large amount of cash into the economy. Paying millions in short courses, and driving collaboration between industries and universities will allow for the supercharge of research entrepreneurs. 

 

More additional resources can be found at https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2020/10/06/budget-2020-21-investing-education-and-research the Liberal webpage: Budget 2020-21: Investing in Education and Research, https://www.alp.org.au/policies/your-education Labor Government: Your education webpage.