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Trust Us, Save This Vine Of Both Parties Promising Not To Deregulate Uni Fees

"Deregulation of fees is not something that we're doing."

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During a very shouty tussle on ABC's 7.30 on Tuesday night there was a brief moment of bipartisan agreement when both treasurer Scott Morrison and Labor's treasury spokesperson, Chris Bowen, said neither party would deregulate university fees.
We believe in the demand-driven system, but we do not believe in deregulating fees. And we've outlined that policy.
Well, deregulation of fees is not something that we're doing, as Chris knows. So I don't know why you're raising that.

It's significant because the Coalition has already said it won't release a higher education policy until after the election, keeping students in the dark about plans for the cost of their degrees.

ABC 7:30

The government released a discussion paper at Budget time with a whole raft of changes on offer to the government after the election.

One of those is a two-tier system, or "partial deregulation", where universities could set the price for some of their more prestigious degrees. For example, if its considered a "flagship course" a university might be able to set the price of its arts degree at $40,000.

Other suggestions in the paper include a household income test, which could force students living at home to pay back their HECS-HELP debt sooner.

The government has been dragging its feet on changes to the university sector since last year, when the senate rejected its plan to introduce wholesale deregulation of fees.

Labor and the Greens voted against the move.

If the Coalition is re-elected, the stage is set for big changes in the university sector. For now we'll just have to save this GIF for if/when the government tries to partially deregulate fees.

ABC 7:30

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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