Education

What the HECS?

The Federal Government today announced university students who fail more than half of their units will forfeit access to HECS-HELP.

Chris Hall, vice president of Curtin University Student Guild, said every student would be affected by this.

“Under the new scheme, students who are performing poorly will permanently lose access to HECS-HELP, and commonwealth contribution, which means students could ultimately be paying double the amount for their degrees.”

Protest flyers. Photo: Lauren Smith

Mr Hall said this was extremely problematic as many students failed because they were not in the right course or it wasn’t for them.

“If you happen to fail your course and want to change to something different, you will need to pay your new course in-full, upfront, it’s not fair, is not equitable education,” he said.

“It is a significant increase in cost for students especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not have a good start to their university experience. 

“This could hinder the rest of their lives and limit their ability and access to a quality education.”

Education Minister Dan Tehan said the change comes at a time of economic urgency

“[We] incentivise students to undertake courses that give them the skills to take the jobs of the future, we need young Australia to help form our economy through the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

Student react to HECS-HELP policy: Captured by Lauren Smith

Mr Hall said these measures were unsustainable.

“One billion dollars cut from the education sector each year is very significant, and every decade we see the student contribution get higher and the government contribution get lower,” he said.

“We are at the stage now where students need to hear the facts, they need to know the consequences and what these sorts of bills mean to them, it’s about taking action and opposing these changes.” 

A rally will happen 28 August at 1pm in Forrest Chase to oppose the bill.

Categories: Education, General

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