Easily the most contentious – and vehemently opposed – facets of the much maligned Federal Budget was the proposed sweeping reforms to Higher Education, which included proposals for fee deregulation, the cutting of federal funding, and the realignment of how HECS debt interest is accrued.
- Reducing the 20 percent course funding cut to 12 or 15 percent – meaning that University fees in a free market theoretically won’t have to be raised as high as previously thought to cover the absence of Federal funding.
- Delaying the expansion of that Commonwealth funding to include Private Colleges (like oh, say… the Whitehouse Institute of Design *brow furrowing intensifies*) by three years – meaning colleges set up as private businesses with their own financial models won’t receive money from the Government to operate for a little while longer.
- Abandoning the plan to realign student debts to the Government Bond rate – meaning HECS debt interest will remain connected to inflation as the current system dictates.
- And funding a structural adjustment package to help Universities adjust to a free-market system – meaning schools will be put on training wheels to ease them into regular business practices, despite just about every Uni having a Commerce department filled with students who are being taught exactly that by people who know their shit.