I have a university debt and I work full-time. With the current cost of living, I need to work full time or I can not help support my family. I am lucky that my partner works in a well paying job. However with the lowering of the threshold to repay a HECS debt from $55000 to $42000 I will have to start paying back the government. But my university education has nothing to do with the work that I am doing, in fact I don’t even need it for my current role, but I do need it to get a better position. Why is this not taken into consideration? Why is the payback system not for after study and only when working within the field of study?
In this country, being university educated is expected by many employers, and I’d argue not as a mark of intelligence but more as a sign of dedication and willingness to achieve. Even basic jobs are being advertised as needing to have a university education. There was a time when you could work for a few years before earning over the threshold, but now it seems that the government wants to get it hands on ‘its’ money as soon as a graduate starts to work. How is this fair? It’s like life giving you a break, you can finally let out that breath that was held tight as you lived with six others in a two bedroom unit and now you have some money in he bank and along comes the government to kick you back into place! Why are we not rewarding people who pass and graduate? Do they not pay a higher tax because they earn more already? You can’t keep handing out tax cuts without getting it back somewhere, but this is looking in the wrong part of the room.
Any cuts to funding, can be seen as a sign to lower the university attendance rate. If someone does not attend then there is no debt, the government is just trying to force the vulnerable population, those on lower income, into submission. You will go out and work! No study for you!
I feel that having an education is fast becoming a privilege rather than a right. We need an educated population it is the only way to avoid our own destruction, political and environmental. Just look at what is happening in the current political climate. Don’t let Australia become a country full of mushrooms! Education doesn’t need to be free, but give us a chance!