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86% Of Students Are Worried About The Government's Plan To Deregulate Uni Fees

We asked, you answered.

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The government’s plan to partially deregulate university fees, which would make degrees more expensive, is the top concern for Aussie students.

Anna Mendoza / BuzzFeed

Twenty-three per cent of respondents picked fee deregulation as the most troubling change the government have install for university students. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull accidentally confirmed during the election campaign that the government plans to partially deregulate university fees from the start of 2018.

A household income test, where your partner's/parents' income will combine with yours to decide when you're earning enough to pay off your HECS debt, came in second on the list at 22%.

The government's planned funding cuts to the sector (14%) rounded out the top three, followed by lowering the repayment threshold for HECS (12%), chasing student loan repayments from deceased estates (11%), increasing the interest on HECS repayments (19%), changing the ratio of government to student HECS payments so students pay more (5%), and scholarship changes (1%).

Two per cent of those surveyed said they weren't concerned by any of the government's proposed higher education changes.

More than 3,000 students (86%) surveyed said they wouldn't be happy if their university introduced any form of fee deregulation.

Anna Mendoza / BuzzFeed

Eighty-six per cent said they wouldn't be keen to see deregulated fees at their university.

Eight per cent don't care either way.

Only 5% of students said they were pro-deregulation.


More expensive degrees, leading to bigger student loan debts, is the primary concern for 38% of students about deregulation being introduced.

Anna Mendoza / BuzzFeed

Lower socioeconomic students missing out on more expensive degrees worried 31% of survey participants, followed by the creation of a two-tiered education system (17%) and the direction of funding towards more profitable faculties (8%).

A majority of respondents placed a high value on their current degree (57%), but a small group seemed worried this could change if universities introduced fee deregulation (2%).

Four per cent of students weren't concerned with the prospect of deregulation.

$40,000 was the most the majority of surveyed students said they would pay for an undergraduate university degree.

Anna Mendoza / BuzzFeed

Only 9% said they would pay $100,000 in fees for their undergraduate degree.

One in five surveyed said they would be happy to be left $60,000 out of pocket.

Forty-six per cent of students would pay up to $40,000 and a quarter would only pay up to $20,000.

The rising costs of studying (including course fees, textbooks, travel, and food) was the main worry of current students, with many fearing deregulation will make university unaffordable for a majority of young Australians.

Anna Mendoza / BuzzFeed

Thirty-eight per cent identified rising costs across the board as the biggest worry for current university students.

A notable decrease in the quality of teaching came in second on 23%.

Twelve per cent of students surveyed were worried about the rising commercial influence at universities, and that an increase in enrolments would devalue their degree.

Less face-to-face time (5%), more online coursework (4%), shorter teaching periods such as trimesters (2%), and bigger class sizes (2%) were selected as main concerns.

Two per cent said they weren't worried about the changes at Australian universities.