UOW group against cuts and hikes

A group of students and staff from the University of Wollongong has formed to protest at cuts to higher education and incoming fee hikes.

UOW Uncut will host a public forum on campus on Thursday, geared at spreading knowledge related to the cuts, and building support ahead of the August 20 National Day of Action in defence of higher education.

Thursday's forum will include addresses by Secretary of the NSW Division of the National Tertiary Education Union, Genevieve Kelly, as well as casual UOW staff and students.

Alexander Brown, a PhD student, casual teacher and spokesman for UOW Uncut, invited students, teachers and high school children to attend.

"One of the reasons we're trying to do something in Wollongong, in addition to the [opposition] in Sydney is because we're in such a low socio-economic area.

"The fee [hikes] are going to hit us even harder."

The federal government is cutting its contribution to the cost of university degrees by $4717 (28 per cent) per engineering student; $3566 (37 per cent) per social studies student and $3206 (15 per cent) per medical student.

The National Tertiary Education Union has warned university fees will skyrocket under the new, uncapped system, tipping the cost of a medical degree will rise from about $60,000 to up to $200,000.

"We want students and staff to send a clear message to this government and to university administrations that we reject the corporatisation of universities," Mr Brown said. The forum is in room 5, building 20, at 12.30pm.

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