Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Newcastle University students fight back against fee increases

BY JARROD MELMETH

Newcastle University students have today gathered at the Callaghan campus to protest cuts to education and increases in HECS fees.

Under the latest federal budget released on 10 May, degree costs are set to grow 7.5 percent by 2021 and students will have to start paying back loans as soon as they earn $42,000 a year.

Newcastle University Students Association Welfare Officer, Aesha Awan said the latest budget is a clear attack on students.

"It is once again, trying to chip away at how much we pay and trying to lock out low socioeconomic students from being able to gain a higher education, which we know is one of the easiest ways to start moving up," Ms Awan said.

The protest follows UON's $1 million dollar rebranding announcement which Ms Awan believes goes to show the government's plan towards corporate universities.

"It is getting more and more corporatised and more and more bureaucratized every single day.

"If we look at the rebranding that has just recently happened, that was $1 million spent on rebranding that was unnecessary that we have already seen the student backlash against. 

"We are also seeing this happen while they are also cutting jobs and making the lives of staff harder with performance reviews putting more pressure on.

"The quality of our education is going down, while the university is spending money on things like branding and selling themselves more like a product," Ms Awan said.

Today's protest at the University of Newcastle.

"No cuts to education"

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