Stop Cuts to Education

By Kirra Jackson

 

The Turnbull government will cut $2.2 billion from universities, predominantly through a two-year freeze in Commonwealth grants funding for teaching and learning. This is not the first time that the Turnbull government has attempted to make cuts to education. Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon team, have previously stopped a $2.8 billion education cut. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that the cuts were necessary because of “Ballooning higher education costs since the introduction of demand-driven education funding”, a system that was introduced in 2009.

 

Last year $34.6 billion was spent in arms exporting. This is an exorbitant amount of money to be spent on any military, primarily when it is historically used in an anti-humanitarian manner. Former Education Minister and now Minister for the Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has said that Australia is currently ranked 20th in the world in arms exports, but wants to push Australia to be in the top 10. Turnbull has failed to explain where exactly the money funding the global arms exporting increase has come from.

 

NSW Education Officer of the National Union of Students (NUS) Caitlin Keogh said, “It is outrageous that while the Liberals cry poor and have decided to gut higher education with a $2.2 billion funding cut they gift $3.8 billion to weapons manufacturers, an industry responsible for the destruction of human life all across the world.

 

“The sick priorities of our government have been put on show for the past few years with money always being pulled from services and pumped into refugee detention camps. It is so important that we build a student movement that rejects the priorities of the government, and fights for money to go ordinary people and the services we rely on not into weaponry and warfare.”

 

It’s easy to assume that with the history of attacks on education, this government cares more about fighting in wars than educating its citizens. Education cuts is an issue that affects all of the students at UTS regardless of degree or level of study.

 

If you care about cuts to education, there is something you can do to show your outrage! The National Union of Students, which you are all affiliated with, are running a protest on the 21st of March. The demonstration will be held at 1 pm at the University of Sydney, where we will be calling on the government to stop cuts to education and show them that we as students won’t put up with it.