Liberal Budget 2017: Cuts to university funding and increased student fees

It has been announced that changes to Higher Education to be introduced in next week’s federal budget will see cuts to University funding and increased student fees.

Today, Lisa Chesters MP stood with Bendigo Student Association President Andrew Mair, to discuss the impact these cuts will have on local university students.

“The Liberals have their priorities all wrong,” said Ms Chesters.

“The cost of a 4 year degree will increase by up to $3600 and HELP loan repayments will start being deducted once your wage hits $42,000 – over $13,000 less than the current indexed threshold.

“University students will be left with a higher debt and will have to repay it sooner under the Liberal government’s plan.  This is just unfair.

“Labor doesn't want young Australians saddled with a big uni debt at the same time as they are trying to buy a house, or start a family.”

In addition, Federal government funding to universities will be cut by 2.5% in 2018 and 2019.  This has the potential to see staff losses, courses cut or less contact hours for students.

“If Australia is to have a strong, high productivity economy, we should be investing in education, not cutting it like the Liberals are doing.”

In Government, Labor lifted overall investment in universities from $8 billion a year in 2007, to $14 billion a year in 2013.

“Labor invests in education because we believe there's nothing better for our society, or our economy, than well educated, well trained Australians in a good, well paid jobs,” said Ms Chesters.