This page contains legislative updates regarding student fees.

The Australian Government has announced a range of reforms to improve the higher education sector. These reforms are designed to deliver on the following aims.

Improvement to the sustainability of higher education through:

  • new repayment thresholds
  • combined HELP loan limit.

Student support that delivers outcomes through:

  • improved support for regional higher education
  • rural and regional enterprise scholarships.

Increased transparency and accountability through:

  • performance-based funding growth for universities
  • transparency for university teaching and research.

This page was last updated 2 February 2021.

Job-ready Graduates Package

On 19 June 2020, the Australian Government announced the Job-ready Graduates Package. This package changes the way the government funds university courses from 2021.

These changes will apply to course tuition fees from 1 January 2021 and will affect the amount students contribute to their tuition fee. It will also affect the tuition fee contribution for students currently enrolled in a course and continuing to study in 2021.

Changing student contributions

Changes to university funding for Commonwealth supported places means that the amount students pay toward some courses has also changed. The cost of university degrees in areas of national priorities are significantly reduced, in courses in engineering, computing, allied health, education, and nursing.

For continuing students who commenced their course of study before 1 January, 2021, grandfathering arrangements will be in place. This means that if the student contribution amount increased, continuing students will continue paying the same amount as they would have, had these reforms not been implemented for any units that would otherwise have an increased student contribution subject to yearly CPI indexation.

Continuing students enrolled in units where the student contribution amount has decreased will see these students paying the lower rate.

HECS-HELP up front payment discount

Students eligible for HECS-HELP assistance will receive a 10 per cent discount if they make up-front payments of $500 or more towards their student contribution.

The discount means students will pay less for their studies if they make an up-front payment and gives students more options to pay their contributions. The discount provides an incentive for students to pay up-front, either fully or partially, which will decrease their student debt.

The HECS-HELP up-front payment discount will apply for up-front payments of $500 or more for units of study with a census date on or after 1 January 2021.

HELP loan limit for 2021

From 1 January 2021, the loan limit will increase to $155,448 for students studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses. The loan limit for all other students will be increased to $108,232.