City Hub

Students calculate expensive future


A new online ‘Debt Sentence’ Calculator made by the Labor shows students the new amounts that they could be paying if deregulation of university fees goes forth.


According to the Labor Party’s calculations, students could find themselves paying up to up to $150,000 for their degrees


The  Opposition has been touring NSW to say that the proposed changes will force local Australian students into a debt sentence.


Students from inner and greater Sydney held a mock funeral for the proposed deregulation of fees at the University of Technology on Sunday (November 16).


Students and teachers wore black and converged out the front of the university declaring the event “the happiest funeral ever,” but deregulation is still a very real possibility.


This is not the outcome Olivia Kilponen is hoping for.


“I’m in so much debt already,” said Olivia, who studies Law and International studies at the University of Technology, Sydney.


Her degree would increase by $20,000 – from $41,203 to $60,255


A petition to stop the deregulation is being pushed by the Labour government, with prompts to sign it on entrance of the online Calculator.


“Yeah I suppose I would sign the petition,” said Kilponen.


Case studies found on the website, show that over 7.5 years, a degree will cost $40,506, but under the Federal Government’s proposed system it will cost  $118,781 over 15 years – a degree costing $78 275 more, and taking 7.4 years longer to pay off.


Tate Meredith, who studies Agricultural economics at Sydney University, agrees with the deregulation, even though his fees may skyrocket.


“I’m not against the debt I’m just ago against the change the rate in which interest is charged. It’s changing from inflation, which is usually around 3% to the 10 year government bond rate, which is more like 5.5% I think,” Tate said.


“I think that it’s beneficial that the universities set the fees, as they know how much the degree actually costs; that is medicine will cost a lot more than arts and journalism. Even if the Medicine fees are significantly higher, they stand to make more money in the long run, compared to an arts student for example.”


But Tate, doesn’t want to see HECS fees increased. “I do disagree with the raising of the interest charged on HECS fees as I believe it should stay at the level of inflation and not increase to the 10 year bond rate which has been proposed,” he said.


Labor MPs Anthony Albanese, Matt Thistlethwaite, and Bill Shorten have all been visiting schools in their local areas on a public relations run.


Labor aren’t the first to make an online debt calculator, the Greens made a very similar website in June of this year that was accompanied with bigger protests – one in which an effigy of the Education Minister, Christopher Pyne.