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Sausage rolls and sports fields: the debate over voluntary student unionism in Australia

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The Australian Federal Government recently amended the Higher Education Support Act 2003. The effect of this amendment, which came into force on 1 January 2006, is to abolish compulsory up-front fees for the funding of student unions. Voluntary student unionism has been a plank of the Liberal (conservative) platform for many years, but its introduction is as unpopular with universities as with student organizations. This paper analyses the reasons for the introduction of the Act, and the debate over the introduction of the Act in universities and in the media. It considers some fundamental misapprehensions in the origins and rationale of the Act.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: La Trobe University, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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