Students mark higher uni fees plan poorly

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Students are set to face higher university fees from January next year as part of the Federal Government’s overhaul of the higher education sector.

University students will pay up to $3600 extra under the Federal Government’s overhaul of tertiary education sector, with repayment thresholds for student HELP debt lowered from $55,000 a year to $42,000 a year.

However, the rate of collection of the debt will also be cut from 4 per cent of income to 1 per cent of income.

The changes announced in the Budget are set to save the Government $2.8 billion over five years, including a 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend on the Commonwealth Grant Scheme.

With these changes, the Federal Government claimed the maximum any student will pay is $550,000 for a four-year course with the increase in total student fees ranging between $2000 and $3600, while a six-year medical course would not exceed $75,000.

The new tertiary education announcements have not been received well by current, former and future students, with many taking to social media voicing their concerns over the changes.

Port Hedland student Stella Attwater is one of those students.

In her final year at Hedland Senior High School, she said it had made her significantly question her future education decisions.

“I have been planning to go to university because I want to be a nurse, and with these changes it does make me stop and think about what I’m doing, where I’m doing it and when I’m doing it,” she said.

“I was toying with the idea of taking a gap year after I graduate to earn some money and maybe travel before going to uni and this has made me stop and seriously consider that idea with a bit more substance.”

Students are not the only ones left suffering with the Budget announcements — universities will face a direct cut of $384.2 million over two years.

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