Students Shouldn’t Fear the Federal Budget

Luke HughesStudent Luke Hughes argues the Federal Budget improves competition, accessibility, and equity within higher education:

In their 2014-15 Budget, the Federal Government has committed to significant changes to higher education funding. The most controversial of these include a 20% decrease in contributions to students’ university fees, the deregulation of fees, and pegging HECS-HELP interest to the 10-year government bond rate.

The Government’s political opponents have interpreted these changes as attacks on students, and have responded with violent protests, marches, and rallies around the country. These groups claim student debt will soar to unknown levels as university fees skyrocket; leaving tertiary education as “the preserve of the rich”, while “poorer students are priced out of the education they deserve.”

Budget Papers foreshadow a different reality: one of increased competition, accessibility, and equity. Continue reading