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Uni cuts are dumb cuts!

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by Henry L.
On the 13th of April, the newly minted Minister for Tertiary Education, Dr Craig Emerson announced cuts to the tune of 2.3 billion dollars from the tertiary education system to help fund the Labor government’s planned partial implementation of the recommendations of the Gonski review into the funding of primary and secondary education.
The announcement of these cuts raised various questions for various people.
The resounding response from the general public was one along the lines of questioning how increasing the funding of the first tiers of education with money ripped from the third tier made any sense whatsoever.
Another perceptive response from an encouragingly large amount of people was to draw a correlation between the amount of funding being ripped from tertiary education and the fact that a very similar amount was announced to be spent on a new fleet of drone aircraft, for use on joint US-Australian missions.
Especially interesting to analyse in the lead up to the federal election is the fact that the Labor Party has essentially decided to pit itself against one of its traditionally stronger campaigning bases, those being the various student unions under the banner of the National Union of Students and the kind of responses this has evoked from both the NUS and the National Tertiary Education Union.
Student rally
At a rally held in Melbourne on the 14th of May, as part of a larger national series of rallies on the day, purported to be the largest student rally in Melbourne for more than a decade, the prevailing mood both within the crowd, and as espoused by many, but not all of the speakers, was one of opposing the cuts and all who uphold them, be they Labor or Liberal.
This is yet another example of the Labor Party drifting further and further away from the party they historically lay claim to be, and the sectors of society they claim to represent. These facts are being laid bare through savage policies such as these, and people are beginning to consider alternative ideas.
The campaign has a long way to go and is not moving along as fast and decisively as is perhaps required, due to aforementioned loyalties to the ALP amongst various segments of the student leadership. However, overall the campaign and the enthusiasm and energy it has aroused in a large number of previously unengaged students, highlights the bankruptcy of the ALP as a working class party and the need to press forward with alternatives.


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