The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) has welcomed the Australian Government’s promise of additional university places for students in 2021.
AHISA’s CEO, Ms Beth Blackwood, says the announcement yesterday by federal Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan of a further $326 million to meet expected increased demand for university places from 2021 is great news for 2020’s school leavers.
The Minister said yesterday that “doing nothing for one or two years will not help the Year 12s of 2020 and the Australians looking to retrain in 2021 . . . we need those additional places from next year”.
“Heads of independent schools are in total agreement with the Minister on this point,” said Ms Blackwood. “The delay in creating new places to 2023, as proposed by the Job-ready Graduates Package, would not have supported or capitalised on the ambitions of the class of 2020. The additional places in 2021 will benefit individual students and the national economy.”
AHISA argued for additional university places to be offered in 2021 in its submission to the recent Senate inquiry into the Job-ready Graduates Package.
“We hope the Minister will take a further step to ensure Year 12s in 2020 have the best possible opportunity to maximise their future education and training outcomes,” said Ms Blackwood. “We would like to see a reversal of the punitive increases in student contributions required for enrolment in subjects in Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce, Communications and Society and Culture. Students who wish to pursue study in these fields should not be asked to subsidise the study choices of other students.”
Ms Blackwood suggested an interim step could be a delay to the introduction of changes to the mix of Commonwealth/student contributions to courses in Law, Accounting, Administration, Economics, Commerce, Communications and Society and Culture.
“At the very least, the proposed changes to the mix of Commonwealth/student contributions should be delayed until 2023,” said Ms Blackwood. “The course costings on which these changes have been based are contentious. A delay would allow time to gather further evidence to inform the Government’s policy making.”