With the recent overhaul of VET FEE-HELP, there was never a doubt that Higher Education reforms were on the way. The Australian Government Department of Education & Training has announced a range of changes aimed to improve the education sector.
There are a number of reasons for these upcoming reforms. The need to improve the sustainability of Higher Education, provide more choice for students and increase the transparency and accountability of the scheme.
Increased Student Share Of Funding
Maximum student contributions will be increasing from January 1, 2018. Fees will increase 1.8% each year with a total of 7.5% increase by 2021. Students will need to pay for a larger portion of their fees without government funding. Funding changes sponsored by taxpayers is being adjusted.
Minimum Payment Thresholds
Students currently with an annual income over $55,874 are required to repay 2% of their loans. As of July 2018, the minimum annual income changes to $42,000 with a 1% repayment rate.
Permanent Residents & NZ Citizen Changes
Subsidies for NZ Citizens and Permanent Australian Citizens enrolling in a Commonwealth Support Place will be withdrawn. This means these students become fee-paying. Access will be provided to income-contingent loans, meaning they will no longer need to meet upfront fees.
Increase Support For Regional Students
The Government will be committing $15,000,000 over the next 4 years to assist up to eight, community-owned, regional study hubs across Australia.
University Government Funding
January 2018 is going to see the introduction of performance-based elements into their Commonwealth Grant Scheme, known as the Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching. This performance element is going to make up 7.5% of the total funding universities will be provided.