The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) calls on the Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan to expand study assistance eligibility to all Masters degrees. Today, the Minister for Social Services released this year’s edition of the list of Masters level courses for which domestic students can obtain Austudy or Youth Allowance.
Unfortunately, the list is largely unchanged from the previous iteration, and continues to exclude many students from receiving study payments.
Currently, postgraduate students can only be eligible for study payments if their course is the minimum legal or accreditation requirement for their profession, or if it is deemed to be the fastest pathway to their profession. Many public universities have low numbers of eligible courses, for example, at the Australian National University, just 9% of postgraduate coursework degrees are on the list of courses for which students can seek study payments.
The yearly list is a source of confusion and despair for many postgraduate coursework students, who find themselves ineligible for study payments.
CAPA urges the Minister for Social Services to implement the recommendation of the 2008 Bradley Review of Higher Education to extend study payments to all domestic students enrolled in postgraduate coursework degrees.
“Postgraduate study is becoming increasingly necessary in order for young Australians to gain employment, but this has not yet been recognised by the Government,” says CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams.
“The current study payment system is a patchwork that is difficult for students to navigate, and leaves many with no support whatsoever. Eligibility for study payments should be based on financial need, rather than an arbitrary list of courses which make the cut.”
For comment: CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993