A reality check, by Dr Chuck Slater p. 64.
Key argument/ views/ values:
- Mr Slater opposes deregulation and believes that the government should protect the current fixed-fee system for higher education courses
- He contends that students already contribute to the cost of their education. He suggests that the system works well because it enables all students to have equal access to courses without prohibitive costs.
- His views challenge the stereotype of a free-loading student (“free education”). He states that students contribute to their education and become taxpayers themselves.
- Students should all have equal access to education because of the consequences for social harmony.
Persuasive/reasoning strategies embedded in his reasons:
- Mr Slater uses statistics and examples to challenge the stereotype that students get a ‘free education”
- Mr Slater uses comparisons and statistics to reinforce his point that the Australian government spends less on education than other OECD countries; he also states that students do pay for a large proportion of their course; from 20 to 40 %
- He uses historical background information – relating to 1989 system to explain how it was set up.
- Appeal: to equality/equal access for all students;
Quotes and word level: rhetorical questions relating to those who “opt out”; which encourages us to see the problems of those without an education; they will be more unequal in a divided society
Purpose: to encourage tax-payers to value and support students;
Metalanguage: the author justifies; defends the current system; statistics; comparisons; defensive and sensible tone;
- Furthermore, Mr Slater also contends that students must have equal access to educational opportunities otherwise the society becomes more unequal and more divided.
- He suggests that equal access to education promotes social harmony and equality
Reasoning strategies: attack/comparison (statistics) with the American system the wealthy have better access to university degrees; in this system, the poor are penalised and often drop-out from University. (comparison with Hungary)
Quotes and word-level analysis; “inequality down to a fine art”; students are “still paying off their debt anyway”; student debt surpassed $1 trillion
Purpose: to alarm, unsettle policy makers and members of the community who support the proposed change; encourage people to agitate against the fee changes; to show that the changes are unfair (shaming tactics).
Metalanguage: he makes comparative references to … ; he uses statistics such as to… attack: decries/condemns/discredits the American system; he stimulates fear/; it is disconcerting to many parents, prospective students that …
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