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.
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.
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
- Will Australian citizens who commence an undergraduate course in 2018 with a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) be able to count on that place in the event of unexpected interruption to their studies, extended deferral, gap years or leave of absence?
As the proposed legislation does not yet refer to these scenarios, we are unable to guarantee that your place will be held in the event of an unexpected interruption to your studies, extended deferral, gap years or leave of absence.
- Will there be availability of Commonwealth Supported Places in undergraduate Concurrent Diplomas for Australian citizens?
Should the reforms go through, we anticipate that there will be no Commonwealth Supported Places for students seeking to undertake concurrent diplomas.
- Will there be any change to the tuition fee structure for New Zealand citizens and Australian Permanent Residents looking to undertake graduate research study?
The Research Training Program (RTP) is unaffected by the proposed changes.
- What will be the tuition fee structure be for New Zealand citizens and Australian Permanent Residents who have deferred a Commonwealth Support Place course offer in 2017, but are looking to commence their Melbourne studies in 2018?
These students will fall under the new arrangements. Under the proposed legislation, you will no longer have access to a Commonwealth Supported Place. You will be regarded as Australian Fee paying domestic students and be eligible for FEE-HELP loans.