Changes to Higher Education Funding

The University of Melbourne is committed to a 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 Australian 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, in 2018, we will have an unchanged number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) for domestic students who enter our undergraduate degrees.

These students will also be eligible to apply for a CSP or Australian Fee place at graduate level, should they successfully complete the course prerequisites.

Until legislation is passed, we cannot speculate on funding arrangements beyond 2019. However, some potential implications for future students are outlined below.

Australian citizens

Students seeking entry in 2018

Undergraduate and Graduate students

The University of Melbourne has received reassurances from the Federal Minister for Education that, in 2018, we will have an unchanged number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) for Australian citizens entering our undergraduate degrees. These students will also be eligible to apply for a CSP or Australian Fee place at graduate level, should they successfully complete the course prerequisites.

This also applies to Australian citizens eligible for an approved guaranteed pathway to graduate study via admission to an eligible undergraduate degree in 2018 (including Melbourne Chancellor’s Scholarships). This assurance is provided as long as there is no break in the Melbourne course of study, other than an approved one year undergraduate course deferral approved by the University between completion of the undergraduate degree and commencement of the graduate degree.

We do not yet know if other breaks in study will be impacted by the proposed legislation.

Graduate Research students

For all Australian citizens, the Research Training Program (RTP) will continue to be available to Australian citizens looking to apply for graduate research study.

Students applying for Commonwealth Supported Places and Australian Fee places

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%.

There is also a proposed lowering of the compulsory HELP repayment threshold to $42,000 to be introduced from 1 July 2018 with the repayment threshold amount aligned to the Consumer Price Index. This proposed reform is relevant to all domestic students.


Permanent Residents and New Zealand citizens

The Federal Government has announced a set of proposed higher education reforms in the recent Budget and this legislation is currently being debated. 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. They will be regarded as Australian Fee paying domestic students and be eligible for FEE-HELP loans.

Thus, if the legislation passes New Zealand citizens and Australian Permanent Residents who have already been made an offer of a Commonwealth Supported Place in a Melbourne undergraduate bachelor or graduate degree (other than the Doctor of Medicine) for 2018 will be transferred to an Australian Fee place. An alternative process may be required for the Doctor of Medicine due to additional government constraints around quotas.

New Zealand citizens and Australian Permanent Residents who are already enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place in a Melbourne undergraduate bachelors or graduate degree with a course commencement date prior to 1 January 2018 will retain their place while they remain in their current Melbourne course.


Foreign Nationals

The tuition fees for international students remain as published for 2018 entry and are not impacted by the proposed Federal Government reforms.


Frequently Asked Questions