Degrees Get the Fees

We’ve all seen, heard and cried about many of Tony Abbott’s reforms and budget fails. University students in particular are fearful about the consequences regarding their already intimidating HECS debts. Universities will be free to charge whatever they like for tertiary education.

Now, most students are looking at about 10 years to pay off their debts. Following this new deregulated university fee system, one can only imagine how long it will take to be debt free. Studying a discipline that requires you to get a Masters to become employable? Bad luck… Halfway through your degree and considering starting afresh? Better start crunching the numbers and asking yourself if it is really worth it.

Experts say that fees are set to triple for most universities. This may be a sad reality. However, luckily for us, Victoria University has decided to throw us a bone. It has been announced that Victoria University will fix fees at pre-budget levels for all domestic Australian students enrolling this year. Vice-Chancellor Peter Dawkins says that this is a move in line with the university’s commitment to being an accessible university.

Is it really, Peter Dawkins?

Whilst Victoria University should be commended for being one of a very select few universities nationwide to provide some level of commitment to resisting the hike in fees, we as students cannot be complacent. What about international students? What about the future? What about the entry standards? To remain competitive, if we sacrifice being ‘cheap’ in the future, will the university resort to unreasonably low entry standards? We’ve already had an allegedly resolved this problem in many of the colleges, will it resurface in light of these counterproductive budget initiatives? And what effect will this have on the credibility of a Victoria University qualification?

Written by Tania Smith


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