Advertisements

The Scan #179 5 May 2016

A few cuts, no frills 4 May 2016   |   The government has pushed consideration of proposed university reforms, including a 20% cut in funding, out beyond the election, until 1 January 2018.  While it has ruled out full fee deregulation, it has released an options paper, to guide a consultation process, canvassing a range of alternative fee measures which would still see substantial fee rises.  The 2016 Budget also sees an efficiency dividend of $1.2 billion on legislated dropped but the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program has been cut by $152 million to $553 million over four years.  The Office of Learning and Teaching has been abolished, with the resulting $18 million in … [Read more...]

Running, jumping, standing still

The Conversation     |    4 May 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… What now? asks Gavin Moodie (RMIT) in The Conversation. While across-the-board full fee deregulation has now been dumped by the Coalition, fee deregulation of so-called "flagship courses", first mooted in the Review of Base Funding in 2011 (with the significant qualification that such fees be capped at plus 50% above what they would otherwise be), looks a hot prospect for a  re-elected Coalition government  (as does a raising of the cap on other courses by some percentage). That is, of course, still moot: an incoming Labor government would be ostensibly committed to additional public investment in higher … [Read more...]

The Scan # 178 12 April 2016

TAFE does heavy lifting - TDA 12 April 2016   |    A TAFE Directors Australia (TDA)-commissioned analysis of official data reveals ‘for profit’ private training colleges have gained a massive 75% share of the $3 billion Commonwealth VET FEE-HELP funding, while the public TAFE sector continues to do the “heavy lifting”.  The performance of Australia’s 57 TAFE Institutes emerges strongly, dominating all major state and territory VET-funded ‘fields of education’ and trade apprenticeships. While TAFE delivered 63% of enrolments across the majority of fields of education, Commonwealth allocation of student loans to TAFE fell to just 20% in 2014, and the government’s own emergency legislation to … [Read more...]

How generous is Australia’s FEE-HELP scheme?

11 April 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… With debate growing over burgeoning FEE-HELP debt, education minister Simon Birmingham has asserted that Australia runs one of the most generous student loan schemes in the world.  Overall, this is true, with three key features: the relatively high income threshold before repayments kick in; the zero real interest rate; and relatively low repayment rates.  However, while the income threshold is much lower than in England and New Zealand, for example, FEE-HELP repayments are calculated on a debtor’s entire income, while in other countries repayments are based on income above the threshold. And New Zealand charges no interest at all for … [Read more...]

The HECS bomb

Set to explode in absence of change 7 April 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… As the Turnbull government ponders a higher education policy to take to the 2016 election, it's been given food for thought by a research report revealing explosive growth of 560% in FEE-HELP debt over the next decade – on current policy settings.  Obviously this portends a change to current policy settings. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… HELP loan -annual cost on an underlying cash basis   The independent Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report finds that the loans scheme will cost the budget $11.1 billion by 2025-26, up from $1.7 billion currently. This amount covers the … [Read more...]

HECS debts to rise after Labor cuts a deal on legislation

The Australian    |     3 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… … [Read more...]

Improving equity through VET FEE-HELP

21 July 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Two of the key architects of the original HECS, Dr Tim Higgins and Professor Bruce Chapman, have produced a new report that argues for significant reform to the income contingent loan scheme that would extend it to more VET students while making it affordable.  They argue that extending income contingent loans to more VET students is required to ensure equity among tertiary students,  but this would require adjustment to the current system otherwise it would not be financially sustainable or equitable. They note that when compared to university graduates, Certificate III and IV completers have low incomes and, for women, low … [Read more...]

TDA Newsletter 20 July 2015

HECS architects urge change to repayments and extension to VET Two of the key architects of the original HECS have produced a new report that argues for significant reform to the income contingent loan scheme that would extend it to more VET students while making it affordable. The report, ‘Feasibility and design of a tertiary education entitlement in Australia: Modelling and costing a universal income contingent loan’, has been prepared by Dr Tim Higgins and Professor Bruce Chapman for the Mitchell Institute. They argue that extending income contingent loans to more VET students is required to ensure equity among tertiary students. But they say this would require adjustment to the … [Read more...]

Grattan Newsletter 19 May 2015

  Budget Policy This year’s Budget might be good politics but the long-term costs of a timid budget are insidious and they fall heavily on middle-income earners, young people and people who are not even born, write Grattan Institute CEO John Daley and Grattan Fellow Danielle Wood in The Australian. The Budget is likely to keep more people happy than the 2014 Budget, but it not only does nothing to address Australia’s long-term budgetary challenges, it is built on denial that we have a problem at all, write John Daley and Danielle Wood in The Conversation. Three days after the Budget, Commonwealth Treasury Secretary John Fraser made his only public statement on the Budget and … [Read more...]

The Scan # 169 15 May 2015

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ GDP spending on higher education set to fall to half OECD average 15 May 2015    |    Spending on higher education as a proportion of GDP will fall from 0.56% in 2015 down to 0.48% in 2018, well below the OECD average of 1%, an analysis of the 2015 Budget figures has determined. According to Vin Massaro, an honorary professorial fellow with the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, higher education spending is slated to drop from $9.3bn in 2015, to $8.9bn in 2016, $9.1bn in 2017 and back to $9.3bn in 2018, representing a drop in GDP every year. … [Read more...]