2017 Budget Fees FAQ's

How much will I have to pay for my course in 2018?

Changes to the budget will mean that course fees will increase from 2018 to 2021 by 1.8 per cent each year up to a total of 7.5 per cent by 2021. If you enrol in university in 2018 as an undergraduate domestic student, these changes will affect you.

How will the changes affect me when I start repaying my HELP fees?

From 2018, the income at which you will start repaying your HELP fees will be reduced to $42,000. The current repayment threshold for 2017-2018 is $55, 874*. This means that come 2018, you will be forced to start making repayments on your HELP debt at a much lower salary and likely before you even start to benefit financially from your university education. (*studyassist.gov.au)

What changes will affect the University and my education?

The government has announced cuts to university funding at 2.5 per cent. This means that university budgets will be tighter than ever, and despite increased fees from students the quality of your education will not be improved. Unfortunately, the increase in student fees only serves to shift the burden of funding from the government onto the student. It does not provide universities with additional income to improve the student experience. In fact, this 2.5 per cent cut may actually reduce a university’s capacity to improve the quality of your education.

What if I am an Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand (NZ) citizen?

If legislation is passed, Australian permanent residents and most New Zealand (NZ) citizens will no longer benefit from the fee subsidies offered by the Commonwealth to domestic students. Their fees will increase substantially. Under the new arrangements, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand (NZ) citizens will no longer have to pay their fees upfront and they will have access to a HELP loan. Example – A UK citizen who has been in Australia long enough to become a permanent resident studying, for example, nursing at Curtin could pay $82,250 for his or her degree. The student can either pay the fees upfront or take out a HELP loan. As soon as the student earns more than $42,000 he or she will be required to start paying off the debt.

Why is this happening?

The Federal Government believes that obtaining a university education provides a significant private benefit to the individual. Despite the fact that universities are public institutions, which provide numerous social and economic benefits (including graduates who pay higher taxes if they earn higher incomes), the Government believes that students should bear more of the costs of their university education. These new changes, which shift more of the burden onto students, will free up government funds for use in other areas or to help reduce government debt.

If you want to be involved in opposing these changes from the Government, contact the Guild Education Vice President, Jordan Piggott at education@guild.curtin.edu.au