The federal government is contemplating the biggest overhaul of higher education in a generation. One issue crying out for more attention in the Universities Accord process is student loans.
A new student contribution system is likely to be part of Labor’s promised Universities Accord.
Upfront cash payments would be more helpful to students than cheaper course fees - as this makes cost-of-living easier while studying.
New Education Minister Jason Clare should move quickly to fix a deeply flawed funding system.
Bianca De Marchi/AAP
Huge disparities in how much students pay for courses mean graduates of high-fee disciplines will take longer to repay their debts or might never do so. That will ultimately add to government debt.
Workers could take a 10% pay cut on the condition it’ll be paid back when conditions improve.
Taxpayers, including those paying tuition fees with FEE-HELP loans, can claim a deduction for self-education expenses that relate to the work they do. But graduates with a HECS-HELP debt can’t claim.
We can use the sudden gift of free time to prepare for the labour market of the future.
Twenty five percent of student loans are unlikely to be paid.
With HELP debt likely to increase to A$75 billion in 2020, research from the US shows offering students financial literacy courses may be a gentler way to combat student debt.
HELP repayment arrangements have long term consequences for students and their families.
Senators should consider how repayment thresholds vary depending on family circumstances, the impacts on taxes and how long students will be saddled with debt.
Where to next on higher education reform?
Though more moderate than the 2014 version, the new higher education reform package represents groundhog day for the major political parties.
There could be much bigger changes ahead for universities.
Hidden in the detail of the latest higher education reform package, there are talks of creating teaching-only universities.
Is it fair that students pay different amounts for university courses?
Students currently pay higher fees for courses that lead to jobs with typically higher wages. But not all students find, or want, a job in their area of study. Should all students then pay the same amount for their university degree?
Both major parties support lowering the repayment threshold for student loans.
The threshold for paying back student loans will vary depending on which party wins the election.
Is Education Minister Simon Birmingham right to say Australia runs one of the most generous student loan schemes in the world?
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, said this week that Australia runs one of the most generous student loan schemes in the world. Is that right?
Do students know what they’re getting in to when they take on debt?
Students rated their financial literacy quite low, which means many students who have managed to secure a place at university don’t believe they understand about debt.
Students living overseas should have to repay their loans.
Overseas debtors should have to repay their student loans, but it won’t recoup as much as repayments from deceased estates.
Students undertaking vocational courses are less likely to pay back their student loan given many don’t earn over the repayment threshold.
More than a third (40%) of government loans to vocational education and training students will never be repaid, according to a new analysis by the Grattan Institute.