Nikolic must act to stop Higher Education debt sentence

Labor Senator Helen Polley has urged students, parents and grandparents in Bass to visit Labor’s new website to see exactly how much Tony Abbott’s unfair university changes will cost.
 
Labor’s campaign to stop Tony Abbott’s $100,000 degrees continues with the launch of a new interactive feature on nodebtsentence.org.
 
The Debt Sentence Calculator allows visitors to enter a chosen degree to find out how much Tony Abbott’s changes will cost them.
 
Senator Polley said that Liberal Bass MP, Andrew Nikolic, should consult the calculator immediately.
 
“I think people in Bass will be shocked at the difference. I know for students and their parents in Bass considering university next year or the year after this is a genuine concern,” Senator Polley said.
 
“Labor believes the opportunity to go to university should depend on hard work and good marks, not ability to pay. Does Mr Nikolic agree with this? Will he stand up for his constituents?”
 
Based on independent modelling the calculator shows the level of debt a university course will incur and how long it will take you to pay it back. For example under Abbott’s deregulation modela UTAS student looking to embark on a Science degree will now face a total debt of over $91,000, which will take close to 15 years to repay. This compares to a figure of $19,410 under the current higher education system.
 
Senator Polley said that she was committed to securing the future of UTAS in Launceston and fighting the Government’s planned university model.
 
“Recently the Launceston City Council wrote to me seeking my unambiguous commitment to the full service Newnham campus.
 
“I gave my word that I was 100 per cent on board when it came to protecting the campus. The concern I have is this - how many prospective UTAS students will be willing to take on the debt sentence of a $100,000 degree?
 
“Under the proposed changes the UTAS campus will be the preserve of the wealthy elite, not the highly regarded, accessible institution that it is today. We want UTAS to continue to be an economic driver for the region and a significant employer in Launceston and we don’t want it to be a university enjoyed by the privileged few.
 
“Mr Nikolic must realise that Tony Abbott’s plan to deregulate fees will make attending university an unachievable dream for many people in Tasmania.”