10 August 2017

Should the wealthy repay more of their student loans?

Australian legislation proposes to lower the country’s generous loan repayment threshold. Set too low, it can cause graduates serious financial hardship. Set too high, it means that significant amounts of debt will not be recovered.

9 August 2017

Public-private benefits of education: do the sums

Since HECS was introduced nearly 30 years ago, policymakers have believed that a balance of public and private benefits from higher education could set parallel public and private payments.

28 July 2017

Give students more information about their prospects for success

A quarter of a million students started university this year. The government has information about how well they are likely to do. But that information is not available to students, or difficult for them to find. In this submission, Grattan’s Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham call on the government to provide personalised completion prospects to students.

4 July 2017

Higher education fees are rising – so is it still worthwhile enrolling?

The prospect of higher fees raises concerns about whether higher education is still worthwhile. With subdued job growth since the global financial crisis and many more students at university, educational choices are more complex now than a decade ago.

8 June 2017

Submission to the Inquiry into the Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment

The Senate is conducting an inquiry into the higher education reforms announced in the 2017 Commonwealth Budget. The Senate should support changes to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and the proposed increases in student contributions.

11 May 2017

Attrition is a price worth paying for an open university system

Australian policymakers have moved to link funding to student retention. But they must accept that desirable trends don’t all arise in perfect harmony. If we want a more open and accessible higher education system, all other things being equal, one price of that is going to be higher attrition. It should be kept as low as possible, but, ultimately, it is a price worth paying.

10 May 2017

Uni students and grads must pay their fair share

As Education Minister Senator Simon Birmingham announced his higher education reforms in the lead-up to the budget, the first of many expected student protests was happening outside the venue. Students understandably do not want to pay more than they already do. But, for the majority of students and graduates, the long-term impact of what the government proposes would be small.

4 May 2017

Explainer: how will the changes to HELP student loans affect you?

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has unveiled big changes to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). Assuming parliament passes the changes, all students will have to pay more and repay quicker. The changes affect current and future debtors.

3 May 2017

University reforms spread financial pain widely but fairly

The Liberals are battle-scarred on higher education. A radical plan to cut government spending on universities and deregulate student fees failed in their first term. Education Minister Simon Birmingham is now trying again, with a new package he describes as “fair, measured and modest”.

28 February 2017

Universities and the evolving graduate labour market

Chapter published in Visions for Australian Tertiary Education: Inherent uncertainties in the labour market make it hard to predict skills needs. A surge in student numbers has produced more graduates than the labour force needs in high-skill occupations. Better informed demand, particularly on the choice between vocational and higher education, could improve the demand driven system.