Fee hikes are going to hit University students following the Government’s changes to higher education.
Charges could go up several thousand dollars, with some HECS debts as high as $75,000.
Jenny Archdall reports.
Universities are being forced to re-evaluate as they’re slugged with fee increases and funding cuts from the federal government.
Peter Coaldrake, Vice Chancellor, QUT: ” So we’ve got to reconsider the way we offer the services that we provide.”
However, Professor Coaldrake is confident universities will remain bustling hives of activity.
Peter Coaldrake, Vice Chancellor, QUT: “I don’t think there will be an overall impact on student demand but there could easily be an adverse impact on people from low socioeconomic areas.”
The Federal Government is standing behind its policy.
Simon Birmingham, Education Minister: “These are critical plans that will better support and empower student choice, will ensure our system is financially sustainable and will underpin our world class universities into the future.”
Queensland Labor is less optimistic.
Kate Jones, Qld Education Minister: “What we’ve seen with University fees is a government that is out of touch.”
And it’s not just current students that’ll be affected.
Along with the increases the federal government is also proposing the pay back threshold be lowered from $55,000 to $42,000.
Meaning not only will students have to pay more, they’ll be paying it back sooner.
Predictably, students aren’t happy.
Student 1: “Well if I’ve got pay for it eventually then yeah that kind of sucks.”
Student 2: “I think it will drastically effect a lot of families especially those that are struggling.”
Student 3: “Impact us in the future; not a good sign I guess.”
For better or worse, Australian universities are about to see some big changes.
Jenny Archdall, QUT News.