The Australian Government has announced plans to increase student fees by 1.8 percent in 2018 (building up to an increase of 7.5 percent by 2021).
From 2018 students will also be expected to pay back their loans at an income of $42,000 per year, instead of the current level of $55,000.
*Hack on triple J did a nice job of summing up what paying your debt back will look like on a $42,000 salary*
Speaking on Q&A, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the reasoning behind the loan hike was that the government wanted to regain the “$52 billion owned to the Australian people via student loans.”
Mr Joyce also said the government thinks “about 25 per cent” of student loans “never gets paid back.”
Also speaking on Q&A the Vice-Chancellor at Australian National University, Brian Schmidt, questioned if the fee increases were “fair and just”. However, he also said that he believes students could “probably” afford the increase.
Although the impacts of the fee increases will affect all Australian students, the greatest impact will be felt by international students (and other students who do not use HELP), who pay fees upfront.
As stated by education minister, Simon Birmingham, the increased fees will equate to a maximum of $3600 more for a four-year course, than before the fee hike.
Mr Birmingham speaking on the planned changes to universities.
The government also intends to abolish course subsidies from permanent residents (who are not citizens) and New Zealanders. The government will also reduce the number of subsidised postgraduate student places by 3000.
These announcements about University fees come a week before the government is set to release the federal budget. Labor has already pledged to block the $2.8 billion funding cut, which if passed will see the fee increases and earlier pay backs become reality.