Last week in my post Australia’s Bulk Billing Explained and $7 GP Fee Co-payments I talked about the current Australian Government’s plan to make a visit to the doctors more expensive.
There is another proposed change the government wants to introduce which will make student fees in higher education much more expensive. The government wants to make some quite significant changes to the cost of higher education here.
First, they want to deregulate fees which means that universities can charge pretty much what they like. Next the government want to withdraw about 20% of their contribution so students will have to bear a bigger share of the costs.
On top of that, the government plans to charge a higher rate of interest on student loans, so all in all student higher education fees could rocket if all this gets approved.
As with those GP fees mentioned last week, there’s plenty of opposition to these plans, particularly from The Greens. They’ve set up a website called whatwillmydegreecosts?
I’m sure it’s not going to be a permanent website depending on how this proposal pans out, so below I have done an example for you.
What will my degree cost?
With their interactive website you can find out how bad it might be for you. I went through it myself with the following selections…
I chose medicine. Yes, I always fancied myself as a doctor…
Youth Allowance sounds good, I think I’ll have that…
Well, I’m 20ish, but that’ll do. So, how’s it looking…
Eek! Looks like I’ll have to pay that Youth Allowance back and strewth, look at those new fees!
I wonder how much it would have cost without these changes?
Compared to how it might be soon…
Check it out and have a play around yourself: whatwillmydegreecosts?
As you can see, this is scary stuff for students. I’m pretty sure it’s not as bad as it looks above, after all this is a political party (The Greens) trying to make a political point; I’m sure they have everything loaded in their favour.
Apart from what looks like a low graduation salary in this example, I don’t think they can really know exactly how much each degree will cost from each university as that hasn’t been decided yet. Remember, each university can set its own fees and no one has set anything so far.
I have also chosen (probably) one of the most expensive university choices available, that of medicine.
Nothing has been agreed yet, like last week’s doctors proposal, this too has to go through Senate. I’m sure there will be a lot of negotiations and compromises made before anything becomes concrete.
If approved, these new fees will affect all students, domestic and international. For those of you hoping to come here on some kind of student visa though, it’s well worth keeping an eye on these developments.
It’s also worth remembering that if you do go over to the whatwillmydegreecosts? website to have a play around, the price you see for the “before the 2014 budget” is still a current price estimate.
We will all find out in due course what future student higher education fees might be.
HECS, by the way, is now called the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).
Don’t you just love acronyms?
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