As Labor was losing its fight in the lower house, it managed to win Senate support to push back a report on the reforms - delaying the government's moves to introduce the bill to the upper house until October 28.
But Coalition MPs said the reforms - which Education Minister Christopher Pyne has hailed as the "greatest of our time" - would result in a system that was "truly fair and universal" and ensure universities were strong and competitive.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie called on senators to "see good sense" and block the reforms which would hurt the disadvantaged, women and country residents. "This is another sign of a government that is cruel," he said.
Read more here: Business Spectator