Disadvantaged Young Men to Lose Out on Higher Education Reforms

Australia’s leading boys health organisation, the Top Blokes Foundation, urges senators to consider what message the government’s proposed higher education reforms are sending to young people when considering their decision on the proposed changes.

CEO of the Top Blokes Foundation, Melissa Abu-Gazaleh calls for senators to consider the effects of the proposed changes on disadvantaged young people “We work with over 1,000 disadvantaged young males in schools each year. At the core of our programs is a focus on creating aspirations for future. We see so many young men who believe that university is out of their reach financially. If these reforms pass, we can only see this program growing” stated Ms. Abu-Gazaleh.

With young males currently underrepresented in higher education admissions, it is well documented that their educational outcomes are under their female counterparts. Top Blokes Foundation’s statistics, echoed by Australian Bureau Statistics data shows that young men have tumultuous lives during education. This accounts for their higher representation in youth crime, street violence and other risk-taking behaviours.

With fees set to rise to up to $100,000, the addition of increased number of scholarships will not decrease the negative outcomes for this group of young people. University scholarships will set to become increasingly competitive, discouraging a large number of disadvantaged young people to apply.

“These reforms do not send a positive message to young people. I fear this will further encourage a lack of engagement in higher education.” commented Ms Abu-Gazaleh.

The Top Blokes Foundation’s works with over 1,000 young males each year in a schools setting through the Junior Top Blokes Mentoring Program, a weekly peer-led mentoring program to improve boys engagement within their school and community. 

Top Blokes Foundation urges senators to think twice before supporting these proposed changes.

For additional comments, contact:
melissa@topblokes.org.au | 0404630013
Posted January 30, 2015