You know those fuck-off annoying YouTube ads that get in the way of enjoying cat videos and Chet Faker remixes?
Yesterday, a new one was added to the mix, with the Australian Government launching a new ad campaign trying to effectively sell its higher education reforms which have been all but universally (and rightfully) criticised. You can check it out below:
The campaign will also be rolled out across TV, outdoor advertising etc, so there will really be no escaping it. And it carries a pretty overwhelming message that ‘your future is Australia’s future’ which, okay. Most worrying is that the campaign itself is that it does quite an effective method of masking the true extent of the changes that are actually coming. From the perspective of a marketing major, it’s sort of got it all.
It’s also a load of shit. An insidious display of smoke and mirrors from the Coalition, who seem to think that if they throw enough money, and colourful graphics out there, people will forget about the catastrophic effects their Higher Education reforms are going to have on the next generation.
The campaign explains “the facts about higher education” including the government’s “plans to make our higher education system even better”, emphasising that students would continue to be able to defer their fee payments until they were earning a decent salary.
Let’s get these facts straight: fees will be rising, and they will be rising to alarmingly high levels. While the HECs scheme will stay in place and fees won’t be payed upfront, that’s little consolation when you take into account the massive spike in total costs – a run-on effect that will continue as interest rates send them higher, and graduates are saddled with enormous debts that will in many cases be literally impossible to pay off in the average human lifespan.
That’s where the problem is.
There’s also something fairly troubling about the hefty price-tag (reportedly upwards of $150k) attached to what is essentially a massive campaign from Coalition spin doctors to try and popularise legislation changes that have been universally criticised. These are taxpayer dollars being driven towards making people totally cool with the fact that university fees are going to be climbing very rapidly in a very swift manner from here on out.
We had a world-class tertiary education system at one point – and that is very much in danger now, as the government seems intent on pushing for the elitist, American system that only seeks to widen the gap between the affluent and the poor, with effects that will be wide-reaching and long-lasting.
The future of Australia might be in our hands – but we’re sure being stitched up by the guys in power now. You know, the ones who got their degrees for zilch.
In any case, we call bullshit.
Feature image: YouTube.com