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Cash-strapped universities “nonsense”, says Evans

Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans says university vice-chancellors are being ungrateful in their fight to deregulate university student fees.

Speaking to The Australian on 14 August, Evans said that for the universities to say they lack money is “complete nonsense”.

“They’ve had their funding increased by 50 per cent since 2007. They are positioning themselves for what they see as a Liberal government attack on university funding and they are attempting to mount an argument to increase the cost borne by students”, he told the newspaper.

Fred Hilmer, chair of The Group of Eight, a lobby group for research-intensive universities, has led calls for fees to be deregulated, but not all university heads support this tactic.

Macquarie University vice-chancellor Steven Schwartz has said that before universities “take the easy road and raise tuition fees, they should try delivering higher education more efficiently.”