Students and staff say no to the Robert Menzies Institute

Students gathered on South Lawn yesterday to protest the opening gala of the Liberal-backed think-tank Robert Menzies Institute (RMI).

An open letter to all student politicians

As sleek Facebook frames are slowly being removed from the profile pictures of university students in their early twenties, and social media feeds are returning to normal from constant ‘vote for me’ c

"Please don’t ask if we’ve tried yoga”: Students fighting for disability support

Despite the University’s push to make learning accessible, through programs such as SEDS and Access Melbourne, there have yet to be endorsements from students that these programs are appropriate. Inst

Cinemas Buckle Under the Weight of the Netflix Empire

Will Hollywood blockbuster-type films continue to use Netflix as their outlet, or will they return to their rightful spot on the big screen?

Stop the Liberals, Join the Campaign against the Robert Menzies Institute!

The federal government, led by the Liberal Party, is bludgeoning universities. Since the onset of the pandemic, they have excluded thousands of university workers from JobKeeper, ramped up fees for se



Student Groans

<p>The Grattan Institute has released a report recommending that all students be charged a universal 15 per cent loan fee when borrowing from the Higher Education Loan Program.</p>

The Grattan Institute has released a report recommending that all students be charged a universal 15 per cent loan fee when borrowing from the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).

According to the Grattan Institute, currently “full-fee vocational education and undergraduate students pay loan fees of 20 and 25 per cent respectively while postgraduate and government-supported students do not.”

They believe this is both discriminatory for students and unsustainable for the government.

The report, titled Shared interest, a universal loan fee for HELP recommends utilising loan fees to recoup interest costs currently paid by the government on approximately $52 billion debt calculated as of mid-2016. These repayments will contribute to much needed budget repair.

The loan fee suggested would not be an upfront payment. Instead, it will be added to a student’s total loan amount and repayment would remain dependent on income so that individuals who earn over the minimum repayment threshold can pay back an increasing portion of their income as it increases.

The Grattan Institute estimates that this would enable the government to generate an estimated extra $700 million a year whilst continuing to transfer risk and smoothen the transition to higher education for students.

In response to the report, Minister Simon Birmingham maintained that future reform “will ensure HELP student loans will continue to be one of the cheapest loans people will ever get.”

Other commentators, including Paul Kniest of the National Tertiary Education Union, and the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU), have criticised the proposal for suggesting to increase costs to students without any improvements in the quality of education.

Vicki Thomson, head of the Group of Eight states “these kinds of proposals just tinker at the edges of what is a more serious systemic funding challenge for our sector.”

According to UMSU President Yan Zhuang, the proposal does not have the interest of students at its core.

“This proposal will see students take on more debt and receive a poorer education – this is not good policy.”

Another idea proposed in the report includes lowering the income amount for when graduates start repaying their debts from $54,126 per year to $42,000 per year.

The Turnbull Government has benched all higher education reforms until 1 January 2018.

Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Three 2021


Our final editions for the year are jam packed full of news, culture, photography, poetry, art, fiction and more...

Read online