Lifestyle

Tradies upfront course fees working towards extinction

CQUniversity vice-chancellor Scott Bowman sees positives in the Federal Budget 2014
CQUniversity vice-chancellor Scott Bowman sees positives in the Federal Budget 2014

THE days of tradies scratching for cash to pay for TAFE course fees upfront are working their way towards extinction.

CQUniversity vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman, while discussing the impacts of the Federal Budget 2014, highlighted this development as one of the positives for future CQUniversity students as the university merges with CQ TAFE on July 1.

Prof Bowman said under the changes, people wanting to get certificates in trades would be able to get a student loan like the current HELP/HECS system, paying their fees only after they started earning over the threshold amount.

"I think it is a good indication that trades training is being recognised as equal to university education," Mr Bowman said.

The government's 'earn and learn' policy has raised the age at which people can go from Youth Allowance to Newstart allowance.

"TAFE could benefit from that," Prof Bowman said.

"People will be more inclined to go into training to get a job."

The HELP/HECS threshold was also changed in the budget, decreasing the amount by just under $3000.

"Still, you are not going to pay it back until you are on a good salary," Mr Bowman said.

Other changes include the Federal Government reducing its contribution to course fees by an average of 20% and de-regulating course fees, allowing universities to charge what they wanted.

"Universities are going to review their fees because there will be a reduction in funding," Prof Bowman said.

"We are going to have to make up the shortfall. Other universities will look at this as an opportunity to hike up their fees.

"I don't think we will be a university that will do that."

He said CQUniversity had lower fees than others, but was working on a reputation of being a 'real value for money' education organisation with great job uptake rates and high starting salaries for graduates.

Mr Bowman said another positive in the budget was the $10,000 grants available to businesses who employ people aged over 50, unemployed for more than six months, and skill them up with training and certificates in that particular industry. 

"We would all like to go back to a day where people didn't pay for university. That was a time where only 5-10% of people were going to university," he said.

Mr Bowman said with changes in society and the workforce, including more jobs being more technological, the rate of people going to university was up to 40% these days.

"We can't afford that (free university) as a nation."

He said while there had been cuts to research, they were no where near as big as he thought they would be.

"The Collaborate Research Infrastructure Scheme is going to be funded. That's very good for us," Mr Bowman said.

On the budget overall

"I thought it was a good budget," Mr Bowman said.

"I don't think we have any kind of debt crisis, but we need to do anything we can to stop us from getting into a debt crisis.

"I think it's going to be tough for all sections of society, but for some families, particularly in the middle income part, it will be tough."

Changes

  • For 2013-14 income year, the compulsory repayment threshold is $51,309. 2014-15 = $53,345. From July 1, 2016 = $50,638
  • De-regulation of university fees in 2016
  • Reduction in funds from the Federal Government for courses
  • Student loans for all studying diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degrees

Topics:  cquniversity, federal budget 2014, hecs, jobs news, t20




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Veteran: 'I would have killed myself if not for my dog'

A man and his dog on the road for PTSD

Farmers rally in Rocky to protest again land clearing laws

Mark Collins at a protest held Kershaw Gardens by farmers across the Central Queensland region in response to State Government vegetation clearing laws. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Farmers gather at Kershaw Gardens in Rockhampton in protest.

Breaking: Ninth case of black lung is confirmed

Section of a coal worker's lung showing black lung disease with progressive massive fibrosis.Contributed

A 62-year-old underground miner has been diagnosed with black lung.

Latest deals and offers

Stockland Terrace - oficial opening

Stockland Commercial Property CEO, John Schroder talks at the official opening of...

Farmers protest land clearing laws

Farmers from across Central Queensland gathered in Rockhampton to express their...

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward