More than 22,000 Victorian students have missed out on university places because the Howard Government refuses to provide enough tertiary places, according to Maria Vamvakinou, Labor member for Calwell.

“Figures just released by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre show that nearly one in three applicants missed out on an offer in the main university admission round.

“This is a shocking waste of talent and is heartbreaking news for those who studied hard but still missed out.” Maria Vamvakinou said local students were among the thousands who had missed out on a university place and the chance to fulfil their ambitions to continue their studies.

“Of course we are all proud of the more than 36,000 applicants who have received a university offer. Their hard work has been rewarded and they and their families have every reason to be very proud.”

“But more students should have been given the opportunity to go to university. Victorian universities could have accepted many more students if the Howard Government funded the places that are desperately needed.”

“Nearly 2 in 3 prospective nurses and 3 in 5 prospective teachers are among those who have been turned away even though Victoria needs skilled graduates in the vital areas of health and education,” Ms. Vamvakinou said.

But she said applicants who missed out should not give up because there were still a small number of offers still to be made.

“The Education Minister claims that some students, like those from Broadmeadows, want the choice to pay full fees for university places, the lack of spaces shows what a false choice it really is.”

“Labor will end the Howard era of lost opportunity by creating 20,000 extra university places and 20,000 extra TAFE places each year.”