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Science & Maths Degree students
No longer a national priority

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#1 B.feral3

Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

It's first day of term today and the first day I have learned that the rest of my degree (I've done 10 subjects out of 24) is now going to cost me double.  sad.gif sad.gif  

I'm absolutely gutted.

I was paying $540 per course (less 10% because I was paying upfront) and now I will be paying from $1045-$1300 per course. (PLUS the new SA fee that was introduced last year for crying out loud.)

How can they do this to students part way though their degree.  mad.gif Are any other EB'ers affected by this?

As I said, it's first day of term and my really good friend who is studying the same degree as me has had to drop out this afternoon. She is a NZ citizen but been living here for 24 years. She has a Commonwealth supported place but is not eligible for HECS so she pays upfront. This is simply unaffordable for her.

I just want to cry; for myself and my friend.

There was brief mention of this in the news 4 days ago it seems.

I totally missed whatever memo went out about this before now though. It seems there wasn't one though because students in my uni FB group are infuriated. (My degree is Medical Science.  sad.gif sad.gif )

#2 tibs

Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

I read about that mid way through last year in one of the publications the uni puts out (Sydney Uni).  But I didn't realise it affected existing students, the way the article read it was students starting a degree from 2013 onwards would pay the HECS Band 2 not those already part way through the degree  oomg2.gif   That is outrageous.  Good thing there is an election this year because this govt has passed their use by date.

Edited to add this is what the article that I saw mentioned, it is apparently a quote from a govt Minister?  Total backflip, typical.
Students who commence their course between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2012 will not be affected by this change and will continue to pay a reduced student contribution amount until 31 December 2015.

Edited by tibs, 25 February 2013 - 03:14 PM.

#3 RHJ

Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:32 PM

I didn't study those degrees, but this happened the year before I started my course (I was accepted the in 2009). It only effected the students who started the year I did 2010). Anyone who started in 2009 or before were not effected and continued to pay the lower amount. Very strange to do it to you mid course.

#4 B.feral3

Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:33 PM

Yes, total backflip. It's for ALL students PP, not just new ones. This press release is more recent than the one you saw and quoted above other PP.

The Government has announced that, subject to the passage of legislation, from 1 January 2013, the maximum student contribution amounts for all students enrolled in maths or science units will increase from the National Priority rate ($4,520 per EFTSL in 2012, indexed annually) to Band 2 ($8,050 per EFTSL in 2012, indexed annually).

This means that the maximum student contribution amounts for mathematics, statistics and science units of study will now be the same for all students, no matter when they commenced their course.


I am so so so gutted.  sad.gif I was just talking to another friend of mine who is a mature age single parent. A recent increase in the cost of JET, plus now the doubling of the cost of her degree and she's seriously considering quitting before census date because she's finally been priced out of tertiary education.  sad.gif

How can they do this to us half way though our degree.  sad.gif

I was paying $540 per subject minus a 20% discount for paying up front. (Last year that discount was reduced to 10%) I was not deferring to HECS but rather paying upfront.

Therefor I was paying about $460 per subject. Now I will be paying between $1045 and $1300 per subject.

Obviously I can't pay that upfront so I will deffer and it will attract 3% inflation per year. So I'll be going from paying $460 per subject up front to deferring up to $1300 per subject. Then of course the SA fee of $200 per year was added last year so the degree will be close to 3 times what I expected it would cost when I started.

I'm also wondering if it's worth it. I am just so down right now that I want to quit.  cry1.gif sad.gif sad.gif

Edited by Bek+3, 25 February 2013 - 03:39 PM.

#5 B.feral3

Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:37 PM


It seems that not even the student unions knew about this. I know mine didn't until yesterday and now you can't even get through to them on the phone. This was not meant to be for current students.  sad.gif sad.gif  Every press release has stated current science and maths students enrolled before 31 Dec 12 will not be affected until after 2015... then our invoices were presented this morning and BANG.

I can't believe this isn't huge news to be honest. No one cares about students or tertiary education it seems. Just sports and socialites.

#6 CupcakeMumma

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:03 PM

Yes my daughter is in the same boat, she is in the last year of her degree.  She was under the assumption it would be the same rate for the entire degree.  Not so sad.gif. She's luckily gotten some research work but poor form on the govt.

#7 stephmd85

Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:21 PM

I'm in the same boat. I'm disappointed but not surprised as I assumed the "national priority" could change from year to year. The national priority at the moment seems to be saving money!!!!

#8 Shellby

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

I knew about it - as I started my science degree this year and I remember thinking I would hate to one of the existing students who just had their fees increased after having it cheaper the last few years.

The info was out there but I found it in tiny news stories (in our local country newspaper)  - I guess the government didn't want to make a huge thing about it and have all these students spending their summer on their doorstep protesting. Instead like your friend they will just quit quietly and they will have saved their money.

The national priority at the moment seems to be saving money!!!!

This is what they are doing it, they said yes we still are short of these people studying these degrees, but we can't afford to keep paying for them - so they are cutting back and sticking to things like nursing etc - say they cut nursing and they would get the nursing union involved which they wouldn't want - especially in an election year - however there isn't any science maths profession union though...so which is easier? Not that I would ever agree with taking the extra funding from nursing - just using it as an example of a professional backup whereas we don't have that.

Sorry you found out the way you did.

#9 Lori-SBB

Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:20 PM

On the bright side if after you graduate you get a job in a field related to your degree the government will give you a HECs rebate at the end of each financial year... So essentially they are raising the fees to then pay them themselves later...

Makes all sorts of sense!

HECS-HELP benefit for maths, science, education and nursing (including midwifery) graduates

About the benefit
This benefit is not a cash payment, but an amount of up to $1,635.75 in the 2011-12 income year (1 July - 30 June) that reduces your compulsory HELP repayment
The benefit was introduced on:
1 July 2009 for maths or science graduates
1 July 2010 for education and nursing graduates.
You may apply annually once the income year (1 July - 30 June) you wish to apply for has ended.

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