Education reforms that disadvantage women?

Senators: Stand against education reforms that disadvantage women

CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Fair Agenda members have hand delivered your signatures to key crossbench Senators around the country, showing the community opposes education reforms that would disadvantage women.

Up to $45,000 – that­­’s the amount of extra interest women could end up paying on their degree under the Government’s proposed tertiary education overhaul,[1] a legislation package being negotiated right now.

Researchers have shown that the Government's proposed changes to university loan interest will effectively operate as a ‘double whammy’ for many women. First because the gender pay gap extends the time women need to pay off their debt (during which their debt will grow), and then again because any woman who takes time off work to care for children will see their debt grow further in this time.[2]

The cross bench Senators could be expected to vote on these changes as soon as next week. Can you make sure they hear loud and clear that their constituents don’t want education changes that disadvantage women? Sign and share the petition; and local Fair Agenda members will deliver your messages to the Senators' offices this week.

More information

[1] The Abbott Government’s planned de-regulation of uni degrees to hit women the hardest, National Tertiary Education Union, 26 June 2014. Figure based on a three-year accountancy degree, currently costing $30,255, which would climb to about $75,000. The repayments on the degree would grow to $120,000 – including $45,000 in interest, for graduates who take time off to have children and then work part-time. The degree would take 36 years to pay off – compared with 10 years for a typical graduate today. This compares with 23 years for an accountancy graduate who stays in the workforce, who would face repayments of $99,000 - including $24,000 of interest. ‘Women to be hit hardest by student loan debt’, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 2014.

[2]HECS upon you: NATSEM models the real impact of higher uni fees, The Conversation, 25 June 2014. ‘Pyne’s education policies hurt women – but the men in cabinet don’t seem to have noticed’, The Guardian, 11 August 2014.

Help us get to 3,500 signatures


Dear Senator,

We're concerned that the Government's proposed changes to university loan interest rates have a built-in bias against women. We urge you to oppose this unfair proposal, and any other education reforms that will disproportionately hurt women. 


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Latest activity

clelia , 2161  /  signed 2014-08-24 19:00:54 +1000
"Uni fees proposal is unfair."
Erica , 3953  /  signed 2014-08-24 18:58:24 +1000
"While the government wants to get out of debt, some of its actions may force others to increase debt. Passing the problem on to students is not good enough. And there are good reasons to come up with some better plan, including the fact that women are more likely to end up in greater debt over time if they choose to stay home to raise children. Will the interest on the debt be suspended while people with a debt are not in employment? This scheme needs to be debated widely and honestly and changes made to ensure that the debt burden is appropriate. Please do not allow the changes to be made in their current form. Thank you."
Diane , 3160  /  signed 2014-08-24 17:34:05 +1000
"This will be very unfair to women studying for a degree, and disadvantage them in an ongoing way."
Gregory John , 3465  /  signed 2014-08-24 17:20:15 +1000
janette , 6005  /  signed 2014-08-24 17:05:27 +1000
Pauline , 2318  /  signed 2014-08-24 17:00:55 +1000
"Education should be affordable to ALL Australians. Do not return to the past when I was in my teens and only the rich could afford to go to university. I expect better from an Australian government who is supposed to govern for all Australians not just to those people who have a substantial bank balance."
Jane , 2062  /  signed 2014-08-24 16:21:52 +1000
Flora , 6050  /  signed 2014-08-24 16:03:01 +1000
Kimberley , 2481  /  signed 2014-08-24 15:30:00 +1000
"Its hard enough now to make ends meet. People like me who have been a single mum most of my life and now studying to better myself and family will be in an even worse position financially and this affects the whole family."
Jacqueline , 2780  /  signed 2014-08-24 14:54:37 +1000
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