Against the international trend, Germany has announced it will abolish tuition fees and higher education will once again be free for its citizens. Could the same happen in Australia?
In a shortlived experiment, Germany’s public universities – funded by state (Länder) governments – introduced fees in 2005. But as early as 2008, following public outcry, individual states started backtracking. The last two of the Länder still levying them will phase them out this year.
Fee-reversal could happen in Australia. We have only one government funding 37 public universities, compared to Germany’s 16 Länder funding more than 100. But perhaps the question for Australia is: should higher education be free?
The UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights supports the implementation of free higher education on the basis that higher education should be equally accessible to all. But free doesn’t necessarily mean equal.
What’s the point of having a free education if only a few can access it? Or if the quality of higher education is sub-standard? On the other hand, what if a country charges high student fees, but ensures that anybody needing financial support gets it?
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by Ali Nawaz Memon, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA
1. The discussion about admission policy in Karachi University in today’s paper. It appeared that the Education Minister made some statement and MQM MNA disagreed. Statement of the Karachi VC was non committal. I am not sure if any action will take place. WE NEED A CLEAR ADMISSION POLICY DECISION WITH TEETH WHICH WILL BE IMPLEMENTED BY A FIXED DATE.
2. The admission policy should APPLY TO OTHER PUBLICLY FUNDED UNIVERSITIES SUCH AS DOW MEDICAL, ENGINEERING ETC OF KARACHI.
3. The discussion about opening doors of universities in Punjab to Sindhis. However, we know that most Sindhis will not be able to go to study in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad etc for financial and other reasons. Accordingly, THERE MUST BE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO ATTRACT SINDHI STUDENTS TO GO TO UNIVERSITIES IN PUNJAB. THIS IS CLEARLY NEEDED FOR SAKE OF NATIONAL INTEGRATION.
4. As far as I know, in rural Sindh we have only two general universities- – Sindh and Khairpur. The Khairpur one does not have a proper campus due to the unfortunate happenings at the Shadi shaheed campus. KHAIRPUR UNIVERSITY NEEDS A PROPER CAMPUS. FURTHER MORE, THE STANDARD OF KHAIRPUR MUST BE RAISED.
5. WE NEED ABOUT 3 MORE GENERAL UNIVERSITIES IN SINDH– ONE IN UPPER SINDH (E.G) GARHI KHAIR BUX/ LARKANA), ONE IN THAR (MIRPURKHAS/ SANGHAR/ MITTHI/ ISLAMKOT), AND ONE IN THE MIDDLE (NAWABSHAH/ BADIN).
Continue reading Suggestions for Higher education (HEC) actions in Sindh