Turnbull Government Hikes Up Uni Fees in New Budget
WORDS BY JACK FOSTER
Students are to be hit with higher University fees per the reform package outlined last night by the Turnbull Government.
Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham revealed last night that students will be forced to pay up to $3,600 more in course fees over their degree
In addition, the Government is lowering the HEC’s repayment threshold from $55,000 to $42,000, a move which Birmingham describes as “fundamentally fair”.
The proposed changes which are due to come into effect on the 1st January 2018, will see a 2.5% efficiency dividend be extended to Universities.
Student contributions to higher education are set to increase by 1.8% per annum between 2018 and 2021.
“No student will pay a cent upfront for their higher education” according to Birmingham.
“We will not proceed with the unlegislated higher education measures that remained in last year’s budget, but in their place, will propose to the Parliament a package of reforms that are fundamentally fair, reasonable and necessary”.
Whilst the student share of University fees has increased from 42% to 46%, tax payers are still covering the majority of the cost at 54%.
Minister Birmingham claims the Government will save $2.8 Billion over the forward estimate, in “underlying cash balance terms” as a result of these changes.
Sydney University SRC President, Isabella Brook has labelled the changes as a “cruel attack on students and universities”.
Brook claims the proposed changes are going to have a “profound impact on USYD students, who will be paying more for their degree with no proportional increase in the quality of their education”.
“The SRC will be taking action against the budget, joining students across the country in a National Day of Action on May 17th at UNSW” according to Brook.
Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek has slammed the reform package, claiming “the liberals have their priorities all wrong”, labelling the government as “out of touch”.
Plibersek argues the purpose of these changes is for the Government “to pay for the $50 billion big business tax cut”.