TAFE fee freeze conceals government funding halt

A WELCOME freeze on TAFE fees has hidden a simultaneous halt on increases to NSW Government contributions to courses.

Upper house Greens MP John Kaye said the statewide introduction of fixed course fees would temporarily ease the growing pressure on students.

But he called the move "entirely deceptive".

"At no stage did (Skills Minister John Barilaro) acknowledge that the Baird government was also freezing their contribution," he said.

"The Minister is hiding behind the good news to inflict yet another blow on TAFE.

"Without an increase in government subsidies, teachers in the public system will struggle to meet their commitment to their students."

The 12-month freeze will apply to more than 700 government-supported courses.

"Trainees will also benefit from a $1000 cap on traineeships, and fees for seven qualifications across foundation skills will decrease by more than half," Mr Barilaro said.

A review of all registered private training organisations approved for government funding is also underway.

Dr Kaye argued public education should be free.

"At the very least TAFE fees should be cut," he said.

"The government contribution has to be massively increased to meet the real cost of providing quality education.

"Thanks to the Baird government, 2016 now promises to be an even more devastating year for NSW TAFE colleges."


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