Australia’s education crackdowns in student funding
If you were hoping to move to Australia for future study, you’ll want to know about a few new rule changes that may affect you. What does this higher education reform mean for you? We’re going to look specifically at tertiary students coming from New Zealand (including some Australian permanent residents).
Currently, New Zealand citizens can study at an Australian tertiary institution without a student visa. While they will be charged domestic fees (rather than international fees), New Zealand citizens do no currently have access to Australian Student loans. All other nationalities are required to obtain a student visa to enter Australia.
How Much Will Study in Australia Cost After the Higher Education Reforms?
In May, the Australian Government announced funding cuts to higher education with some important changes.
Among these was a decision to stop subsiding university enrollments by New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents. These higher education reforms are set to take effect from the beginning of 2018.
What difference does this make, you may ask. It means that those students affected will have to pay the full-fee rate for tertiary education in Australia. While tertiary would usually cost $7000 per year, it will now cost $24,000. The total cost depends on the number of years you study, but a three-year degree will run you $72,000 for fees alone.
There is one good thing in all of this – New Zealanders will have access to the Australian student loan system to fund this education. Obviously this is still a loan, but it goes at least some way to helping to finance higher study.
What Are Your options?
This change doesn’t stop New Zealanders from receiving tertiary education in Australia, but it significantly increases the costs. Most New Zealanders will end up with significant loans if they study in Australia now. Parents can send their children back to New Zealand for study (or keep them there if they are in New Zealand already) – as they are likely still entitled to subsidised education in New Zealand.
Will There Be Retaliation?
Prime Minister Bill English was obviously not happy with this change, but has ruled out stopping subsidies for Australians.
However, New Zealand’s leader of the Labour Party hinted that, if able to form a government after the September 2017 election, they would consider retaliation. This would not make things easier for New Zealand students in Australia – it would simply make things harder for Australian students in New Zealand. As of now however, New Zealand is lying in wait.
Regardless of whether you still choose to study in Australia as a kiwi – OrbitRemit can help. We offer free payments to the New Zealand IRD from Australia, enabling students past and present to pay off their student loans without hefty charges usually associated with international money transfers.