A Senate Inquiry into university reforms got underway in Brisbane today.

And protesters rallied outside Parliament, to voice their concerns about a hefty hike in university fees.

Louise Priddle reports.


Representatives from the group Getup and the Tertiary Education Union believe the Federal Government’s proposed 20 per cent tertiary cuts will hit students hard.

Lyndal Butler, GetUp: “We’re protesting today because we oppose the deregulation of university fees because it presents a huge challenge for students.”

Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Senator Kim Carr says the changes will mean the end of a “fair go” Australia.

Kim Carr, Opposition Education Spokesperson: “It’s highly contentious for the Australian people, the government proposed changes could fundamentally change the fair go Australia.”

And it’s estimated that will cost Queensland universities $860 million.

The regional university network is concerned that the changes will only increase the divide between city and regional universities.

Senator Bridget McKenzie says that this is not the case.

Bridget McKenzie, Inquiry Chairperson: “I think there’s been a consistent theme from regional universities and institutions like James Cook that also serve Indigenous and low socio-economic communities.”

The senate inquiry continues tomorrow.

Louise Priddle, QUT News.