Deniliquin community members are concerned about the proposed deregulation of university fees in the Federal Government's budget.CASS SAVELLIS May 30, 2014 3:40am
Students already struggling to make their way through university may be further disadvantaged because of the Federal Government’s budget cuts.
It this month’s Federal Budget, the Coalition announced a deregulation of university fees from 2016.
With Australian universities able to set their own fees, some course prices may increase dramatically making it even more difficult for tertiary students to afford the cost of living.
Rural students are expected to be hardest hit, according to Deniliquin High School careers teacher Pam Sinha.
She believes universities will become a ‘‘domain of the rich’’.
‘‘I have already spoken to a couple of students who are on their gap year and they are extending these to another year in anticipation of the hike in fees,’’ she said.
‘‘They want to continue earning money until they can save enough to accommodate the rise in costs.
‘‘There’s talk that some areas of tertiary education will be unaffected and remain relatively stable, such as allied health, while other areas like nursing, teaching, visual and performing arts and social studies are all set to increase.
‘‘Top universities are going to be charging big money for their popular courses.
‘‘I’m nervous about facing this uncertainty when my own daughter starts making decisions about her future in 2016. The great social divide will continue to gape.’’
Deniliquin student Erin Smith, who is studying community development at La Trobe University in Bendigo, said it was ‘‘frightening’’ that universities would soon have the power to decide how much they charge students.
‘‘For rural students, we are already at a disadvantage. If we want a tertiary education we have no choice than to move to regional and city centres,’’ she said.
‘‘As most people know there isn’t just university fees and subject costs, there are costs associated with accommodation and day to day living expenses.
‘‘For many, the Higher Education Loan Program debt may not mean much because you don’t start paying it off until you’re starting above a certain (pay) threshold.
‘‘But if you think 10 years down the track when you’re wanting to buy a new car or take out a loan for a house, who knows what your HELP debt will look like if it’s regulated by individual universities.’’
Miss Smith said although fees may increase, prospective university students can look to local organisations for assistance.
‘‘I don’t want to scare people; attending university has been one of the best things I have experienced,’’ she said.
‘‘I know for a fact I wouldn’t be at university if it weren’t for the local organisations like the Edward River Country Education Fund helping to alleviate the financial burden.
‘‘I urge you all to start thinking about the future and finding ways to help these local organisations who issue scholarships — it will only be a matter of time before you need them.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.