Among the many sensational claims made by student activists, perhaps the boldest is that two thirds of Australian students are living in poverty. Can we really apply the term ‘poverty’ to students attending an expensive higher education institution when perhaps the term ‘broke’ is more applicable?
This ‘two-thirds of students’ rhetoric is the kind of shock-and-awe statistic that welfare groups tend to shout from the rooftops whenever they want to call attention to some grave national crises requiring urgent action – usually in the form of large dollops of taxpayer money.
However, you only need to take a stroll through UQ, or any other major campus for that matter, to notice that the rhetoric surrounding Australia’s student poverty epidemic jars with reality.
Read the rest on Semper Floreat, here.
Much has been made of the gap in outcomes between those with a bachelor’s degree or higher and those with a high school education or less. The unemployment rate among the former group is just 2.6 percent, compared to 5.4 percent for the latter group. Young adult bachelor’s degree holders can expect to earn $24,600 more per year than their counterparts with only a high school degree.
But what about the people in between? Often in economic statistics, these people are lumped into one category, labeled “some college.” But this grouping captures two separate groups of people: those who have completed a two-year associate’s degree, and those who have taken college classes but have not emerged with any credential at all. And recent evidence suggests that the fortunes of these two groups are diverging. Policymakers should look for ways to get students to complete their four-year degrees, or embark on associate’s degrees, which are easier to finish.
Read the rest on Economics 21, here.
On the surface, the University of New South Wales banning the use of language deemed ‘offensive’ towards Indigenous Australians seems like the kind of well-meaning measure that’s hard to disagree with. After all, who doesn’t want to give the role of Indigenous Australians in our nation’s history the recognition it deserves?
However, by policing the words staff and students use to discuss a topic as broad and complex as Australia’s history, UNSW’s ‘diversity toolkit’ goes far beyond teaching respect for the story of Indigenous people in our past. Indeed, it uses language as a fillip for imposing ideological conformity.
It’s one thing to try make a taboo out of words like ‘aboriginal’ and ‘dreamtime’ that have long since become uncontroversial parts of our nation’s vernacular.
Read the rest on The Spectator, here.