Do Australians care about unis? They’re now part of our social wage, so we should

In 1988, then federal education minister, John Dawkins, drew upon the politics of class privilege to justify rolling out HECS student loans. A university user-pays system was needed, he argued, because Labor was not in the business of funding “middle-class welfare”. At the time, one reason a neoliberal appeal by Labor to its base could deflate widespread public opposition was that just 7% of working-age Australians held a degree.

Three decades on, Education Minister Dan Tehan is also dog-whistling up the politics of class to cut off the loans system to first-year students who fail half their subjects, ramp up fees for many others, deny JobKeeper to workers in the sector and cut funding.




Read more:
The government would save $1 billion a year with proposed university reforms — but that’s not what it’s telling us


Portrait of John Dawkins
Today 33% of working-age Australians have a degree, a big jump from 7% in
Read More

Do Australians care about unis? They’re now part of our social wage, so they should

In 1988, then federal education minister, John Dawkins, drew upon the politics of class privilege to justify rolling out HECS student loans. A university user-pays system was needed, he argued, because Labor was not in the business of funding “middle-class welfare”. At the time, one reason a neoliberal appeal by Labor to its base could deflate widespread public opposition was that just 7% of working-age Australians held a degree.

Three decades on, Education Minister Dan Tehan is also dog-whistling up the politics of class to cut off the loans system to first-year students who fail half their subjects, ramp up fees for many others, deny JobKeeper to workers in the sector and cut funding.




Read more:
The government would save $1 billion a year with proposed university reforms — but that’s not what it’s telling us


Portrait of John Dawkins
Today 33% of working-age Australians have a degree, a big jump from 7% in
Read More