University Just Got Harder Thanks To Government Cuts
The mid-year budget has been handed down and it's not looking good for students.
It's been dubbed as the death of a system that gives all Australians the chance to study.
The government's mid-year review, announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison, looks to save $2.2 billion by freezing higher education funding at 2017 levels for two years, and linking growth after that to performance targets and population.
It also cuts the student loan repayment threshold to $45,000 - which means students will have to pay it back sooner - and imposes a lifetime limit on loans for combined vocational and tertiary study.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham insists the freeze does not recap student numbers.
Universities can still enrol as many students as they like but for any above the number of government-supported places, they will only collect the student's contribution, without additional taxpayer subsidy.
Student contributions range from 28 per cent of course costs for agriculture to 84 per cent for law, commerce and economics.
Universities Australia says the freeze will lead to fewer people having the chance to pursue higher education.
The proposed cuts still need to pass Parliament.