Civil Voices
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Politics

Charity Calls for More Clarity on Uni Fee Increases


Thursday, 7th August 2014 at 10:46 am
Staff Reporter
National children’s education charity, The Smith Family, has called on the Federal Government to provide greater clarity to families and young people from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds around the costs students will need to pay for a degree under its higher education reforms.

Thursday, 7th August 2014
at 10:46 am
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Charity Calls for More Clarity on Uni Fee Increases
Thursday, 7th August 2014 at 10:46 am

National children’s education charity, The Smith Family, has called on the Federal Government to provide greater clarity to families and young people from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds around the costs students will need to pay for a degree under its higher education reforms.

On the back of the National Press Club address by the Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, The Smith Family said that without the Federal Government releasing data to show the most likely cost increases for degrees – and the way in which its new measures to support disadvantaged students will help – low income families and students would continue to be concerned about their capacity to pay.

“Low income families and students are – not surprisingly – highly sensitive to price. Without clarity around the costs that they are likely to pay under the new system, we fear that that these changes will scare many away from university,” The Smith Family CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien said.

“It’s discouraging that no one is able to say – with authority – how much students will need to pay for their university degrees under the new system.

“We’ve heard estimates range from ‘more than $100k’ to Ian Young (Chair of Group of 8) saying annual fees of $12,000 to $14,000 a year, even at the country’s best universities, were more realistic.

“Any reforms which create more individual debt will scare greater numbers of low income students away from tertiary study unless there’s evidence to the contrary.

“Similarly, uncertain of the impact of financial burden on their child’s future, parents will start encouraging their children to set their sights lower.

“Low income families and students – and the organisations that support them – need greater confidence that the new system, including the measures designed to support them, will increase access to university, not make things harder.

"The Minister in his speech spoke of analysis conducted by the Innovative Research Universities into the likely course fees under the new system.

"I think public debate would benefit greatly if the Government was able to confirm the accuracy of this research with its own modelling; that its reforms will improve access to university among disadvantaged students and alleviate the real concerns that are out there.

“The Smith Family also calls on the Federal Government to act on the recommendations of Bruce Chapman and others and only charge interest on student debt when a graduate earns an income over a repayment threshold.

“We recognise that in his speech the Minister signalled his willingness to listen closely to the range of voices on this issue and give careful thought to their suggestions and we welcome that.

“We’d similarly suggest the Minister also consider other measures to inject greater fairness into the reforms, such as writing off student debt after a period of time, for example, 25 years.”

The Smith Family said it provided direct financial support to more than 1000 disadvantaged tertiary students each year.

“We must avoid a two-tiered university system – one for students and families with financial resources, the other for those without,”  Dr O’Brien said.



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


We specialise in data solutions consulting and IT profession...

DQUBE Solutions

Prolegis Lawyers work exclusively for charities, other not-f...

Prolegis Lawyers

HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

More Suppliers


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

New Defence Export Strategy Slammed by Australia’s Aid Organisations

Wendy Williams

Monday, 29th January 2018 at 5:35 pm

Federal Govt Extends Advocacy Funding – States Called on to Follow Suit

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 9th August 2017 at 4:02 pm

Government ‘Ideologically Opposed to Human Rights’ Says Departing Triggs

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 26th July 2017 at 3:21 pm

POPULAR

Australians Losing Trust in Charities

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 7th February 2018 at 5:28 pm

Luke Batty Foundation to Close as Rosie Batty Steps Down

Luke Michael

Monday, 19th February 2018 at 5:37 pm

Calls to Remove ‘Blanket Religious Exemptions’ for Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Friday, 16th February 2018 at 2:35 pm

Prisoners with Disability Subject to Harrowing Abuse, Report Finds

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 7th February 2018 at 4:19 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Civil Voices
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!