Last week, Arc hosted a panel discussion evening about the Federal government’s proposed university funding changes. The panel was hosted by Chair of the Arc Board Sahana Nandakumar and included President of the National Union of Students Molly Willmott, UNSW Deputy-Vice Chancellor Academic Merlin Crossley and Universities Australia Policy Advisor Mike Teece. We watched it and summarised the juicy bits below.
How does uni funding it work at the moment?
The federal government pays for students to attend university as a public good. Domestic students then repay the government once their earning is about a certain amount. Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) is a capped number of places at each uni in each degree. These places are arranged into bands with varying levels of government subsidy to make student debt for different degrees higher and lower depending on what the nation “needs”.
Read more about CSP here.
Read more about bands here.
Why are international fees so much higher?
Students who are not Australian citizens are not eligible for Australian government loans and subsidies for their degrees. They pay the full cost of the degree directly to the university.
Read more about international fees here.
What is the proposed change?
The federal government has proposed a Job-Ready Package of changes to higher education fees and funding across TAFE and universities. The 3 bands will become 8 clusters. Most degrees are becoming more expensive for students (e.g. commerce, arts, law) whereas some degrees will become cheaper for students (e.g. science, engineering, medicine).
Read more about Job-Ready Graduates here and the discussion paper here.
What can you do about it?
Get in touch with your local member.
Get in touch with Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan via email.
Follow your campus representative group or the National Union of Students.