In an earlier post I have already discussed the role of schools and teachers in our lives. What bugs me today is the way the Australian government treats our university system at the moment. Taking their cues from the Gillard government and pushing it as far as they can, the Abbott government has withheld hundreds of millions dollars from our public universities.
Apart from the fact that this seems very likely to turn out as an illegal act and they will have to eventually pay this money out, I really don’t understand the rational of cutting funding from our education system. We live in the 21st century where more and more well-paid jobs depend on the high level skills of workers. And we all know that only well-paid workers can consume, buy houses and cars, invest in services and good and, thus, keep a vital part of our economy alive.
As universities need to keep their teaching and research up and running, they will naturally turn to the only other source of finances they have: their students. And the government’s move to deregulate universities fees shows that this is actually intended. This means that, for instance, engineering students might look at $120k debt at the end of their studies. And this hike in fees will not come with better teaching quality as universities are only working to keeping their status quo. How many young people will this deter from even entering the university and, thus, stay formally untrained after school? I dread to think!