catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

More luvvy hyperbole

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How many times do we have to explain it? You do not have to pay HECS fees up-front. Yet the apprentice luvvies at the Victorian College of the Arts are complaining about a “crippling rise” (ie about $1,000 a year) in their student contribution amount. They are being given a financial “survival guide”.

VCA student union spokeswoman Allyson Hose said students needed a survival guide more than ever this year after VCA – which has trained artists such as Oscar-winning animator Adam Elliot and Legally Blonde director Robert Luketic – decided to raise HECS fees by 25 per cent. Ms Hose said there had been a noticeable jump in the number of students applying for financial assistance since the fee increase.
“It’s an indication of the kind of pressure students are under,” she said. “There appears to be fewer students taking up enrolments this year because of the pressure of facing three or four years doing these courses and not knowing how they are going to fund them.”

Perhaps Ms Hose should just tell students to defer their charges. And if the reporter had fact-checked, he’d have found no difference in student numbers – as the VCA always has more demand than supply, numbers will be determined by quota.

Though I think all the usual arguments against HECS are without merit, VCA students have less cause than most to complain. Many of them are headed into winner-take-all professions, where some people earn a fortune and most earn very little (I suspect it is the frustrated artists who create the pretty patterns in the latte froth). So for the winners the fees will be a tiny percentage of their earnings, and many others won’t reach the $36,000 threshold at which they have to start repaying.

Ms Hose is, I expect, in the VCA’s drama school. In any case, her acting was good enough to convince a journalist that this non-story was worth running.


Written by Admin

February 19, 2006 at 7:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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