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Nationals secure fee cuts for social work in changes to uni funding package

The Nationals say the government’s sweeping overhaul of university funding will be amended following a party room meeting on Monday, with fee hikes for social work and mental healthcare courses to be spared major fee hikes.

After going public with concerns about the package in recent months, Regional Education Minister Andrew Gee, a Nationals MP, said a number of “improvements” would be made to the government’s funding shake-up, which slashes fees for courses deemed “job-relevant” courses while raising the cost of others.

Nationals minister Andrew Gee says the government will now change the university funding overhaul.

Nationals minister Andrew Gee says the government will now change the university funding overhaul. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

Mr Gee said he made good progress with Education Minister Dan Tehan in recent days and the Nationals had sought changes out of concern for the “great divide that still exists between the city and the country”.

“It goes to the very heart of the National Party’s mission. This includes the divide in educational attainment and also the divide that can still exist in relation to access to services, especially mental health,” he said.

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