Greens welcome Accord recommendations to scrap job-ready graduates and tackle placement poverty, but call for wholesale reimagining of higher education

Australian Greens

Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and spokesperson on Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi has reacted to the Australian Universities Accord final report released today.

The Greens have long fought to scrap Job-Ready Graduates and welcome the Accord’s recommendation to scrap the punitive fee hikes, which massively increased fees for humanities degrees by 113%, impacting women, lower SES and First Nations students hardest, but say we are still a long way from equity in higher education.

As stated by Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Deputy Leader of The Greens and spokesperson for Education:

“Recommendations to scrap the terrible JRG scheme, and address placement poverty and income support for students is a win for all of us who have been fighting for these much needed changes.

“The Accord should be the starting point of a transformative approach that truly reimagines higher education built on equity and democracy, in action, not just in words.

“We have campaigned hard for the catastrophic job-ready graduate package fee hikes and funding cuts to be scrapped for good. Now Labor must act swiftly to reverse these punitive changes.

“Unpaid placements have been pushing students to the brink as they are exploited for free labour. In a cost of living crisis, tackling placement poverty should be an immediate priority for the Education Minister.

“The Accord’s silence on recommendations for staff job security is a real miss, especially while recognising precarious and insecure work remains rife across the sector. We must see an end to corporatised unis that operate off the exploitation of underpaid, casualised staff.

“While recognising the stark inequities of the higher education system and the failings of HECS, which places a crushing burden of debt on millions of people, the report falls short of wholesale changes to make university and TAFE free and scrapping all student debt.

“Universities should be well-funded democratic places of public good, where students have fee-free access to a safe and effective learning environment, and staff have secure jobs and fair pay.”

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