It’s OK, Tertiary Students Aren’t Important…

To me, ABC News is a forerunner in providing an excellent insight into the most common news and current affairs, and in the case of education news there is no exception.

On Sunday the 14th there was an article published on the ABC’s online site titled “Educators, MP’s Furious Over University Funding Cuts”. The title pretty much captures the story at its crux: there is a lot of anger over the planned funding cuts which are in place to help te Government pay for the Gonski school reforms.

The story gives great detail into how much funding will be taken out from our Universities and why, for example:

“A 10 per cent discount on the upfront payments of HECS loans will be dumped at a value of $230 million and Student Start-Up Scholarships would need to be repaid once the student begins working.”

They also provide tables which neatly explain how much moeny will be saved from these cuts and where the cuts will occur:

University cuts

Efficiency dividend $900m
Scholarships repaid $1.2b
HECS discount abolished $230m
Tax concession cap $500m
Total savings $2.8b
The news story gives opinions from various politicians and University executives, and the general reaction to the funding is pretty clear: “[It’s] a kick in the teeth” (Victoria’s Education Minister Martin Dixon). There is also a ‘long term effects’ segment to the story, which effectively provides readers with an understanding  of what to expect when it comes to the future of University functioning in the wake of the funding cuts.
There is one strange thing about the story however, and that is what seems to be tagged on at the end. There is a sort of mini story or introduction into the Gonski reform and how positive it is for primary and secondary students, which seemed odd to me, as it started off explaining the negatives of the reform on tertiary students.
Overall though, the story is a brilliant source for information on the Gonski reform, providing clear details of the plans and their effects. Which, in relation to the previous standard of politically fueled Gonski stories, I think is quite refreshing.
– Dillyn ✍

Gonski With The Politics

The latest product of my adventure into professional news writing on education is a little more local than Kenya or America. The article which featured in the ABC news earlier this week focused on the Australian Government’s new education reform: the Gonski.

For those who are not aware, the Gonski is a review and funding system for education in Australia. It aims to “equalize” the amount of funding each level of schooling – such as more money to public schools.

Some however, are not convinced. The article explains how none of the Australian states have yet signed up to the plan, with Western Australia for example, stating:

“(we) have an excellent education system… the funding model will not be determined by Canberra”

The other states following with similar opinions.

Clearly the article was not entirely focused on education, as the title “Gillard Pressures State Over Gonski Reform” suggests; its also political.

In standard Australian politician form, some kind of argumentative comment was bound to be made, this time by NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli.

“I’m disappointed that the Prime Minister would choose to conduct her negotiations around Gonski through the media and not through a proper policy process.”

In fact, after reading through the article, I discovered (a little too late) that it may not have much to do with education at all…

– Dillyn ¨

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