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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2014-15

Budget 2014-15
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2014-15

Building a world class higher education system

The Government has a plan to ensure that our students enjoy the best higher education choices in the world and that Australia is not left behind by global competition.

Our reforms will build a higher education system that stands amongst the world's best

Key initiatives include:

Expanding opportunities and providing support for students

  • For the first time ever, the Commonwealth will provide direct financial support to all students studying higher education diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degree courses, as well as those studying bachelor degrees, at all approved higher education institutions.
  • The Government will establish a Commonwealth Scholarship scheme to assist students from disadvantaged backgrounds so they don't miss out.
  • Undergraduate students will no longer have to pay fees to access FEE‑HELP and VET FEE‑HELP.
  • Graduates will begin to repay their HELP debt when they start earning over $50,638* from 1 July 2016.
  • The Government will lend to students at a rate that reflects the cost of Government borrowings to fund their student loans, with a maximum rate of 6 per cent.

Strengthening the higher education system

  • The availability of Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) loans means that students do not have to pay a dollar upfront.
  • Universities will be able to set their own tuition fees for the courses they offer. This gives universities autonomy and freedom to improve educational quality. $1 of every $5 of additional revenue raised by higher education providers from fees will be used to set up Commonwealth Scholarships.
  • Rebalance the Commonwealth's contribution towards course fees for new students, with a reduction of 20 per cent on average, with effect from 1 January 2016. This ensures the system remains fair and sustainable.

Investing in research excellence

  • Funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy research facilities.
  • Future Fellowship Scheme, awarding 100 four-year research fellowships each year from 2015.

Upholding quality

  • Universities and higher education providers wil need to meet high quality standards. We will continue to work with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency to ensure that our higher education system remains one of the world's best.
  • A new website to allow students and parents to compare information about employment outcomes and student satisfaction, and higher education providers.

* Estimate only.