catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

FEE-HELP cap lifted

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It’s good to see that the federal government hasn’t entirely ignored my advice on the FEE-HELP student loans scheme. I suggested that the general cap be increased from $51,000 to $95,000, and to $160,000 for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. The Budget went for something more modest, but still an improvement – an $80,000 general cap and $100,000 for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. I don’t have my spreadsheets to see exactly what difference this will make but it should make substantial inroads into the number of non human and animal health courses that on current fee levels cannot be financed entirely through income-contingent loans. For the human and animal health courses it still won’t be enough, so there is more policy work to be done there.

VSU may save students money, but it is continuing to cost the rest of us, with another $10 million to help small business provide services at regional campuses, on top of the already announced $82 million ‘transition’ fund. The VSU policy was misconceived – not from day one, but certainly from the day an in-principle decision was made to let universities set their own student charges.

There are a few early victories for Julie Bishop here, but of course the system as a whole remains a mess. The core financial problem – the fact that universities cannot cover costs for Commonwealth-supported students – remains untouched.

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Written by Admin

May 9, 2006 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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