TAMMY SOLONEC LABOR PARTY
LOCAL: Swan is home to Curtin University. How will the Federal Government work to keep tuition fees as affordable as possible for students?
Labor has always been the party to stand up for quality education and expand people's opportunities for higher education. Because of our past reforms an additional 190,000 students are enrolled at university today. Labor will continue the demand-driven system and ensure that access to university remains a matter of hard work and good marks, not your bank balance. We will introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to provide certainty to universities and remove the need for higher fees. Under a Shorten Labor Government, average funding per undergraduate student in 2018 will be more than $11,800. This additional investment will ensure that students are encouraged rather than deterred from studying at university, improving the productive capacity of our economy.
GENERAL: What can be done to address Australian students underperforming in STEM subjects?
Part of the issue is that kids aren't kept interested or engaged in STEM subjects. Nationally, around 60 per cent of IT teachers and 40 per cent of General Science and maths teachers teaching Years 7-10 classes do not have a tertiary qualification in those areas. We need to do more to support Australia's great teachers so that they can deliver STEM courses in a way that will inspire and engage our school children. Labor's plan is to introduce a five year STEM teacher training fund that will support 5,000 primary and secondary teachers a year to undertake professional development in STEM disciplines.
GENERAL: Should Federal Government funding per student be more equitably split between private and public schools?
Increasing education opportunities is the key to innovation and future economic prosperity. No matter what a person’s background is, no matter where they live, no matter what type of school they go to, Labor wants every child to have the same chance of succeeding at school, and in life, as any other child in the country.