RESTORE FREE EDUCATION
Education is a right, not a privilege.
Everyone has the right to a world-class education. No one should go into decades of debt just to get a degree. We had free education before, and we can have it again if we are willing to make the billionaires and the big corporations pay their fair share.
University and TAFE students across Melbourne did it tough in 2020. If we don’t offer every young person a study place, and then a decent job and liveable income, we risk creating a lost generation.
To avoid this we need to start with free, universal early childhood education. We also need to end the out-of-pocket fees for our public schools, with parents currently paying hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars a year on so-called ‘voluntary’ fees. Starting with a $24 billion investment in our public schools, we will ensure public schools are genuinely free and adequately funded by the end of the decade.
In the tertiary sector, we need to return to genuinely fee-free TAFE and undergraduate university degrees, replacing student debt with public investment and increasing funding to our unis. We will also move Australia on a pathway towards 4% of GDP being spent on research and development.
We also need to move away from a broken model of precarious work and corporatisation, tying further funding increases for universities to job security for educators while redirecting funding away from the broken for-profit vocational sector.
And finally, the Greens would substantially expand the number of apprentices on Government-funded projects, leveraging our investment by mandating a 10:1 apprentice ratio for all infrastructure projects that have substantial Commonwealth funding, ensuring we train the next generation of trades workers and that young people have more pathways to high-paid careers.