Curtin Student Guild News

Media release: CSG responds to higher education cuts

Posted By Nicole Lau on 2/05/2017

Students get raw deal in Government changes to higher education
1 May 2017

The Curtin Student Guild has criticised the increase in fees and other changes to higher education funding announced today by the Education Minister Simon Birmingham.

President Liam O’Neill said university students would be hit with a double whammy paying up to an extra $3600 in fees with the repayment threshold for student loans lowered to $42,000 from $51,957.

“Increasing student fees while cutting higher education funding diminishes the value of a University

Mr O’Neill said that the Federal Education Minister was selling a raw deal to Australian university

“Reducing corporate tax rates while at the same time placing an increased burden on the generation
responsible for providing for Australia’s economic future does not make sense,” he said.

“Students are already facing diminished job prospects when they complete their degrees, a difficult
labour market for part-time work to support them through university and now they will be paying
higher fees to gain a tertiary education.”

According to Mr O’Neill, the reduction of the HECS repayment threshold to $42,000 was

“The reduced repayment threshold is only $7000 higher than the minimum wage, nowhere near a
reasonable graduate wage that students should expect before they repay their HECS debts.”

Mr O’Neill said that the Guild was disappointed that the Government was removing Commonwealth
Supported Places from New Zealand citizens including those who were permanent residents.

“This will introduce huge debts to permanent residents from New Zealand who are not Australian
citizens. A Curtin University nursing degree for example will jump from $30,000 to almost $70,000,”
he said.

“These changes will close the higher education pathway to many New Zealanders resident in
Australia who are seeking to complete their education.”

Media Contact
Liam O’Neill
Curtin Student Guild President
0402 411 315

Download a PDF version of this media release here
Mr O’Neill was born in New Zealand and holds Australian citizenship. While the changes will not
impact him, he is happy to speak about his concerns and his own experience. His family moved to
Australia with the knowledge that he would have access to affordable higher education.