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Wednesday, November 23, 2005


NELSON?S PLAN THREATENS UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA - Paula Wriedt, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Education Minister Paula Wriedt has vowed to fight plans by Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson to move to a two-tired university system.

Ms Wriedt says she fully supports the University of Tasmania in its fight against the Federal Government?s plans.

?Dr Nelson?s proposal is yet another attack on higher education, particularly in regional areas and there is no doubt it would severely disadvantage Tasmanian students,? she said.

?As University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Daryl Le Grew rightly points out, Dr Nelson?s plans would lead to an elitist system which pigeon-holes regional universities and limits choice for students.

?The University of Tasmania makes a significant contribution to the quality of life and the vibrancy of our region.

?The university contributes to the intellectual, cultural and artistic richness of our community.

?This contribution should not be lost as we focus on issues such as efficiency, competitiveness and accountability.

?The State Government has clearly shown its commitment to the University, increasing financial support by over 900 per cent since 1995.

?The Government contributes over $9 million per year for joint research projects, institutes, scholarships and consultancies and fully supports the University of Tasmania?s vision that by 2010 it will be ranked in the top echelon of research-led universities in Australia.?

Ms Wriedt said the University of Tasmania has an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally.

?The university?s recent win in the Tasmanian Export Awards shows the university?s ability to attract international students,? she said.

?This would be adversely affected by Dr Nelson?s plans.

?Dr Nelson seems intent on pushing a particular ideological viewpoint without any apparent concern for the legitimate arguments provided by States and regional universities.?


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