Charivari is a publication of the National Alliance for Public Universities (NAPU), a group formed in 2014 when the Australian government tried to reduce public funding to universities and allow them to set their own fees. The successful campaign against deregulation galvanised university staff and students, and the scale of public opposition to the proposals demonstrated that higher education had become a mass concern perhaps for the first time. As unemployment and job insecurity rise so young people rely on post-school education as never before. ‘Qualifications’ that might once have guaranteed secure professional employment may simply now lead to years of low paid precarious work in cities where the cost of housing is spiralling out of control. In these circumstances there is a grim irony associated with making students pay more for degrees. It adds to the popular sense of intergenerational injustice. Young people ask why a group of privileged politicians, most of whom enjoyed free university education, is lumbering them with more debt.