Briefing Papers

2003 – The ALP’s ‘Aim Higher’ Policy Package: CAPA’s Analysis

22 Mar 00

Attachment: CAPA Paper

The ALP’s TAFE and higher education policy package, Aim Higher, was released this morning. Aim Higher is primarily useful to CAPA activists as it makes clear which elements of the government’s Backing Australia’s Future package it is ALP policy to oppose. The news here is good, with the ALP opposing most elements of the federal package of primary concern to CAPA.

Aim Higher also sets out the ALP’s vision for higher education in Australia. As the ALP is in opposition, these elements of the policy package are less useful, except in so far as they lay down the gauntlet to the federal government. In this respect, the package is quite disappointing. The ALP would only return half of the $5 billion stripped from higher education by the Liberals since they came to power. The ALP remains committed to student fees and differential HECS. As a consequence there is no commitment to remove fees from postgraduate coursework. They seem uninterested in the extension of degree granting status to TAFE and private providers. They do not mention income support for higher degree students.

Here, we briefly overview the highlights of the Aim Higher and the areas of Backing Australia’s Future the ALP opposes. A fuller briefing analysing which areas of the Backing Australia’s Future the ALP has ignored (which will help us isolate which areas they may sell out on) will be available within 48 hours.