Changes to Higher Education Funding - Section contents

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing a world-class educational experience offering students the time, opportunity and insight to follow the best career path for them.

In the recent budget, the Federal Government announced a set of proposed higher education reforms, which is currently being debated in parliament.

The University of Melbourne has received reassurances from the Federal Minister for Education that all Australian citizens who are current undergraduate students, or are commencing a Melbourne undergraduate degree in 2018, will remain eligible to subsequently apply for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) or Australian Fee place at graduate level. As is currently the case, you still need to successfully complete the course prerequisites.

This arrangement is guaranteed in 2018. Until legislation is passed, we cannot speculate on funding arrangements beyond 2019.

I’m in a Commonwealth Supported place. Will the reforms affect me?

Under the draft reforms, it is proposed that from 1 January 2018 the maximum student contribution amount for all currently enrolled and prospective students in a Commonwealth Supported Place will increase by 1.8% per year until 2021 for a total of 7.5%.

Students potentially affected:

  • all currently enrolled students
  • all prospective graduate students

How will the reforms affect my HELP repayment?

It is proposed that from 1 July 2018, the compulsory HELP repayment threshold will be lowered to $42,000, with the repayment threshold amount aligned to the Consumer Price Index. This proposed reform is relevant to domestic students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place and also those in an Australian Fee place.

Students potentially affected:

  • Domestic students enrolled in Commonwealth Supported Place
  • Domestic students enrolled in Australian Fee place.

Will the changes affect fees and repayments for study already undertaken?

If the reforms go through, any changes to fee price will take effect if you begin your study after 1 January 2018.

However, if you are a current student, or a graduate with a HELP debt, the lowered HELP repayment threshold will apply to you from 1 July 2018.

What if I can’t afford to pay the new fees?

The University is committed to supporting students whose studies may be affected by financial hardship. We have a range of financial aid services available. To discuss your options, please book an appointment via Stop 1.

When will we know if the reforms have been passed?

The reforms are currently being debated in parliament and are contingent on Senate approval. The University will continue to provide updates via our channels.

I’m a Permanent Resident or New Zealand citizen. Will the changes affect me?

If you are currently enrolled to study, these changes will not affect you. However, if you choose to transfer to a new course in 2018, you will be subject to the new funding arrangements, and will not be eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place. This includes students who are currently studying an undergraduate degree and wish to progress to graduate study.

This is because, under the proposed changes, from 1 January 2018 most New Zealand citizens and Australian Permanent Residents who are newly enrolling in a course at the University will no longer have access to a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).

They will be regarded as Australian Fee paying domestic students and be eligible for FEE-HELP loans.