Friday, 20 March 2015

letters 20/3 VC not disappointed

VC not disappointed
Contrary to your report that “vice-chancellors are united in their condemnation of Senate crossbenchers for rejecting the government’s higher education reform package”, I am one vice-chancellor who is not disappointed that the legislation to introduce full-fee deregulation did not pass the Senate (“Senators failed us but there’s hope: unis”, 19/3).
UTS has consistently said that moves to unbridled full-fee deregulation could have a negative effect on equity of access to university. These reforms need close examination; the Senate is right to call for that.
The Senate position reflects the high value the community places on higher education and the concerns I share with students about safeguarding all that makes ours a fair system.
Unlike any other time I can remember, we have a minister dedicated to reform, an opposition and a crossbench committed to a high-quality, affordable and accessible university sector — and students, industry and the community engaged in the discussion.
We now have a golden opportunity to work together to find a model for a sustainable and affordable system that will improve prosperity and wellbeing for all.
Attila Brungs, vice-chancellor, University of Technology, Sydney
University’s values
BY aggressively disrupting a public lecture by Richard Kemp at Sydney University (“Protesters disown their university values”, 17/3), demonstrators deliberately denied the values that universities should stand for — freedom of speech, tolerance of ideas and pursuit of knowledge. And all this encouraged by Jake Lynch, director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the university.
The university felt compelled to suspend Barry Spurr for his choice of language in private correspondence, so it should demand Lynch’s resignation for bringing the university into disrepute.
Sarah Kalus, Toorak, Vic
JAKE Lynch says that “When I showed banknotes to one of those attending it was in an attempt to convey to her that, if she did not stop physically attacking me and my wife, I would sue her for assault.”
Who do you think you are kidding, Professor Lynch? You are quite aware of the time the Jew-hating actor Vanessa Redgrave was speaking in Los Angeles in 1977 when one protester waved a fistful of dollars and shouted, “Who is willing to rid the world of a Jew-baiter?” It has been a common insult to those of Jewish faith in Europe and Britain ever since.
Chris Moore, Maylands, WA
Elected thanks to Obama
ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s electoral victory contained a powerful message to the US from the rest of the world (“Bibi declares historic poll win”, 19/3).
The Israeli people told US President Barack Obama in no uncertain terms that if an ally — in this case Israel — cannot feel confident with the support of an important and close ally, then they will not take the risk and elect a leader who may endanger their security by adopting a softer stance on international issues.
Since coming to power, Obama’s foreign policy has been to sideline the US’s friends and appease its enemies; the lack of confidence this imbues has made the world a much more dangerous place.
Alan Freedman, St Kilda East, Vic

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