Media release: CAPA condemns Government’s plan to force lower earning graduates to pay up
14 February 2018 – The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is disappointed by the Government’s plan to introduce a lower repayment threshold for student loans.
Forcing lower-earning graduates to pay 1% of their yearly income will be a hardship for these graduates, but will make little difference to the Government’s bottom line. We implore the Senate to reject this change, in order to show some compassion for those who are just starting in their careers or who are in difficult circumstances.
We believe it is unfair to retroactively impose changed loan terms. Students have entered into their degrees knowing they are committed to paying once they can afford to. If these new rules are introduced, those students and graduates will be burdened with an onerous contract to which they never agreed.
CAPA is furthermore concerned by the loan cap. A loan cap disproportionately affects postgraduate students, particularly those who do not have the advantage of a Commonwealth Supported Place. Students undertaking postgraduate studies in degrees such as law may find that they cannot afford to finish their degree due to having to pay upfront.
Students undertake their degrees in order to better themselves and to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge to contribute to a better Australia. Students and graduate should be valued by the Government, rather than seen as an easy target.
“The Government has already cut funding to universities with their Christmas announcement of a funding freeze; now, they are directly taking money from the pockets of students,” says CAPA National President, Natasha Abrahams.
“The Government should be prioritising an educated workforce for tomorrow, rather than sending a message that they do not care about students.”
For comment: CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993