Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP, today said Labor’s positive plan for higher education will deliver more graduates in Central Victoria and see Bendigo become a university city.
“Labor’s plan for universities and higher education is exciting news for local students, their families and La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus.
“First of all, immediately upon coming to government, Labor will reverse the Liberal’s cuts to undergraduate student funding. La Trobe University was hit hard by the Liberal Government’s funding cuts – resulting in a total loss of income of more than $150 million.
“La Trobe Bendigo will benefit from Labor’s plan to introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee, boosting Australia’s investment in every student by $2500 per year from 2018, an increase of more than 27 per cent on the Liberals plan.
“This will help Bendigo become a true university city,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters said recent figures show more students are leaving university with a debt but no degree and students from regional Australia are among the hardest hit.
“I know from talking to local students and their families the enormous pressure they face when making the decision to enrol. Many are forced to relocate to Melbourne or face a gruelling daily commute because their preferred university or TAFE course is not available locally.
“The costs and pressures associated with moving or commuting can become too much and an unacceptably high number of regional students drop out of study altogether. The simple fact is: right now regional students are doing it tough.
“Labor will invest in every student to ensure they graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, and without a debt sentence.
“Labor’s vision for Higher Education is smart policy. It reduces the pressure on universities to increase fees and cut courses, and will deliver the right outcomes for students, as well as our economy,” said Ms Chesters.