Going to university now means more pain before gain

CHANGE ”INEVITABLE”: University of Canberra students Erin Davis, 19, and Nicole Semmler, 20. Ms Davis says the higher fees will turn people away from tertiary education. Photo: Elesa KurtzFederal budget 2014: full coverage
Nanjing Night Net

University students are bracing to be hit in the hip pocket after the government announced it would reduce contributions towards their course fees by 20 per cent, while also giving universities the green light to set their own tuition fees.

Graduates will also have to repay their HELP loans sooner after the income threshold was lowered, and they are likely to be hit with higher interest rates on their HELP loans under budget changes.

Most of the changes to higher education look set to come into effect in 2016, meaning current students are largely unaffected because existing arrangements will remain until the end of 2020.

University of Canberra second-year accounting student Nicole Semmler, 20, said even if she had been affected, she didn’t think she would have been ”that disappointed”.

”It is a tough decision, but we are in a very difficult position economically so I do, in a way, agree with a lot of the decisions made in the budget,” she said.

”I definitely think some people could be deterred [from higher education], but I think that as a country we’re in a fairly lucky position compared with some people who have to pay upfront.”

Erin Davis, 19, also a second-year accounting student at the University of Canberra, said she was concerned about how the changes would affect future students.

”If we’re already short on skilled workers, is it just making it that much harder for another generation,” she said. She was also concerned that fees at some universities may increase to such a level they would be unaffordable for some students.

”There’s less government encouragement [to go to university]. It would definitely put people off,” she said. ”I think it’s concerning, the lack of concern for students and their finances and their motivations. You would think they’d be encouraging education, but it’s like they’re trying to put up more barriers to stop people.”

Millie Burton, 18, said she did not think the changes would stop people from going to university.

”Going to uni, I didn’t think how much it would cost because of HECS and because of how much the government helps us out, so I don’t think people are going to stop going to uni just because the amount we have to pay has increased,” she said.

”I do think with the deficit, it’s necessary, and I think it’s not that big a price to pay to get a better education.”

The first-year exercise physiology student is also concerned about increases to the petrol price after the government announced it would reintroduce fuel indexation, which is estimated to raise prices by about 3¢ or 4¢ a litre. She lives in Bywong, NSW, and drives about 30 minutes to get to university.

”I’m not really happy about it, but I figured it’s probably only going to cost me less than $1 a week and I think if that’s going to help Australia … I don’t think it’s that big a price to pay,” she said.

The Australian Medical Students’ Association president, Jessica Dean, said fee deregulation threatened to severely reduce access to tertiary education and discriminate against low socio-economic groups.

”By increasing university fees, the government is biting the hand that will feed the future,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

This entry was posted in 南京夜网龙凤. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.