In a deviation from the ways of the Abbott era, the new Malcolm Turnbull government has decided to drop the controversial higher education reforms bill. The bill, which would allow universities to decide on their own fees and cut course funding by 20 percent, was supposed to be tabled before the parliament later this year, so that the law could come into effect the next year.

Education and Training Minister, Simon Birmingham is expected to announce the decision on Thursday. No changes to the university fees would be made until 2017, according to the new revised plan.

"With only three months left in 2015, it is necessary to give both universities and students certainty about what the higher education funding arrangements for 2016 will be," Birmingham’s speech to the University of Melbourne read. "Therefore, today I am announcing that higher education funding arrangements for 2016 will not be changed from currently legislated arrangements, while the government consults further on reforms for the future. Any reforms, should they be legislated, would not commence until 2017 at the earliest."

As soon as the decision was taken, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott condemned it, saying it was disappointing.

"I'm a little disappointed by it and frankly, I am disappointed that the people who call for reform did not get behind the 2014 budget," Abbott told 3AW host Neil Mitchell.

Christopher Pyne, Birmingham’s immediate predecessor, insisted the bill be reintroduced in the parliament at the end of the year after it was dismissed twice in the parliament.

Birmingham said that the government is only accepting the reality that the bill cannot pass the senate even in its current form, since deregulation of fees is likely to have adverse effects on different sections of the educands.

"To those who claim consideration of reform is about ideology or privilege, you are dead wrong. I will only ever champion reforms that achieve both equity and excellence," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying. "I invite ideas and conversations about how to achieve such equity and excellence in higher education, while honestly recognising the financial limitations of taxpayers."

He also pointed out that the government policies will remain as it is unless they are altered by the cabinet.

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