A major restructure of the student loan scheme is being considered as the Albanian government finalizes the next budget, after the biggest overhaul of Australia’s higher education system in 15 years required significant reforms.
The review of the University Deal, published on Sunday, has called on the federal government to double the number of university places by 2050, reduce fees for certain subjects and increase the country’s tertiary education completion rate from 60 per cent to 80 per cent. percent in the next 25 years. years.
The review, by former NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane, has called for the need for “significant changes”, warning that “small reforms… will not be enough”.
Ms O’Kane urged reform of the HECS system to alleviate the impact high inflation is having on repayments, and recommended that banks’ lending practices be reviewed so that HECS debt does not influence borrowing capacity. mortgages.
Education Minister Jason Clare said the government was considering all 47 recommendations in the report, including making changes to the HELP scheme, formerly known as HECS.
A major restructure of the student loan scheme is being considered as the Albanian government finalizes the next budget, after the biggest overhaul of Australia’s higher education system in 15 years required significant reforms. University students appear in the photo.
“The report says HECS needs to be simpler and fairer,” he told ABC’s Insiders.
‘Bruce Chapman, the architect of HECS, has helped the panel with a recommendation that there are ways to reduce down payments for people on lower incomes…someone with an income of $75,000 would pay about $1,000 less each year.
“(That’s) something that could give people an immediate cost-of-living benefit once they finish college and enter the workforce.”
The government will also consider a recommendation to link indexation to the wage price index, rather than the consumer price index.
Clare said he would put forward proposals to the spending review committee, but said the work needed to reform the higher education system for the future would take years.
‘We can’t do all this right away. “This is more than a budget, but we have to start now to lay the foundations for long-term reform,” he said.
The review outlines “ambitious” targets, including increasing the proportion of university-educated Australians aged 25 to 34 from 45 per cent to 55 per cent by 2050, and the largest tertiary education completion rate in the world. current 60 percent to 80 percent by mid-century. century.
To achieve this increase, the government would need to double the number of Commonwealth-supported university students from 860,000 to 1.8 million by 2050, the study states.
It will mean a push for more indigenous, regional and poorer students to attend university.
Other recommendations set out how to best support students while they study, including an ’employment broker’ to help students find part-time work and work experience, and greater availability of free preparation courses.
It also recommended financial support for compulsory work placements, more accessible income support and abandoning the “work-ready graduate scheme” which made arts degrees more expensive in favor of courses based on students’ income throughout throughout his life.
In terms of international students, the review called for less reliance on a handful of home countries and recommended that more international students study at regional campuses.
The panel recommended that the government set new targets for how much Australia spends on funding and development as a proportion of GDP, and establish a fund to help universities solve the big challenges facing the country.
It also recommended a new “needs-based” funding system to provide extra money to universities educating students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The review, by former NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane, has called for the need for “significant changes”, warning that “small reforms… will not be enough”. Students are photographed at UNSW in Sydney.
Education Minister Jason Clare (pictured) said the government was considering all 47 recommendations in the report, including making changes to the HELP scheme, formerly known as HECS.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said reforming the higher education sector was crucial to preparing Australia for the future.
“We need to plan for the jobs of the future, which means giving (people) the skills and knowledge they need,” he told Channel 9.
‘We are focused on more Australians gaining university or TAFE qualifications to fill jobs, boost the economy and provide a good quality of life.
“It’s really important that we support education, something my government is doing.”