By Aidan Curtis
The Federal Budget announced an increase to university fees of 1.8 per cent starting in 2018, with a total increase of 7.5 per cent by 2021. Graduates will also have to start repaying their HECS debts while earning money in a lower income bracket.
Now, in an ideal world, everything would be free and no one would fight over anything and we’d all live our merry lives in perfect harmony. That, however, is not the reality of the world.
The reality is that people don’t want to do things without some form of compensation for their efforts. We’re a greedy lot, and that is reflected in every aspect of our lives. Those who have a lot only want more, and those who have little want a bit of what the more fortunate have.
Students are no different. They’d love it if they could get what they need (an education) without having to worry about how much learning is going to cost. So they complain about how much they have to pay and constantly reference how university was free for the previous generation and it is that generation who is making everything more expensive for young people.
I may be both fairly young and a student, but I don’t think tertiary education should be free. Certainly I’d like it to be cheaper, but free is a little bit impractical.
If we focus all of our money into making university free, then that’s going to take money out of other areas. We could end up with our health care system suffering, or even public transport and infrastructure. Maybe our primary and secondary education systems would take a hit, just so the students who are currently in university can have literally everything handed to them.
I do concede that our society is problematic in its insistence that money has such value. Little bits of plastic and metal shouldn’t define our lives, but they do. We just have to deal with it and get on with things. And yes, there are those who hoard their bits of metal and plastic and can have such great influence over everything that they can singlehandedly alter the press, the environment, and even a country. That doesn’t change the fact that the money to run a university has to come from somewhere.
The Federal Government should turn their focus from drawing money out of the populace by raising fees in places like universities and aim to draw money from better sources.
Those who earn the big dollars like corporation heads, the bigwigs in mining companies, and even the richer-than-thou politicians should be the ones who pump money back into the system.
This would eliminate our elitist process of giving more money to the wealthy and making life more expensive for those without all the money.
So, as a typical broke university student, I say we shouldn’t have to pay more for uni. We should still pay for it, but if the Government wants to raise our prices then they should be willing to personally pump more money into Australia themselves.
Go live off two-minute noodles for four years, then see if you think it’s a good idea to raise the prices.
Image source: Change.org