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Pyne says audit office wrong on uni ads

AAP logoAAP 22/10/2016

Former education minister Christopher Pyne says the audit office is wrong to say the government misled university students in its advertisements about planned funding changes.

The audit criticised the ads from 2014 and 2105 spruiking the now-dumped deregulation policy, saying department modelling didn't back statements about the government covering half of students' costs in the long term.

"The national audit office is entitled to its opinion but it is wrong," Mr Pyne, who is now responsible for a different portfolio, told ABC TV on Sunday.

The ads stated: "The Australian Government will continue to pay around half your undergraduate degree and HECS covers the rest."

Mr Pyne says there were many different estimates "floating around" about the impact of deregulating fees.

"I simply took the advice, as the minister should, of the Department of Education (and that) advice was 50-50 was the fair figure," he said.

The audit found the department had legal advice there was potential for the statement about how much the government was contributing to fees to mislead target audiences and breach consumer law.

Mr Pyne said he did not see that advice.

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