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Catholic lobbyist warns uni reforms disadvantage rural students

PolMin has criticised the Federal Government's higher education reform package, arguing that its emphasis on specialisation disadvantages students from regional Australia.

At present all universities offer the same type of degrees. But specialisation will allow students to gain greater skills and competency because they will have access to the best university teachers. However it's less likely that students from regional and rural areas will be able to attend the campuses of their desired specialisation.

PolMin has urged that priority be given to funding online learning at the specialist universities in order to give better access to students from the country.

"What is required is an access mechanism whereby any person no matter where they live or their circumstance can access a specialist university," said Coordinator James McGillicuddy. "Higher education reforms need to commit to the development of the necessary technologies."

Mr McGillicuddy also pointed out that on-line teaching would also open up university education to older Australians seeking to upgrade their work skills, and also to mothers with young children.


PolMin - Australian Political Ministry Network

15 May 2003