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Media release: HECS/HELP changes deliver much needed cost of living relief for graduates

May 5, 2024

The Group of Eight (Go8), representing Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, says the government’s decision to change the way HECS/HELP loans are indexed would provide timely and much needed financial relief to graduates.

Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said:

“This measure will be welcomed by our graduates who are in the workforce and paying off student debts. Like all Australians, they are juggling cost of living pressures and the government’s decision to make the change retrospective acknowledges this.

“The initiative is an important first step in a much-needed broader reform package to address student financial contributions, which must include the dismantling of the fundamentally flawed Job Ready Graduate (JRG) package.  

“The abolition of the JRG scheme cannot come soon enough. It was an abject failure. It failed universities, students and research and the Universities Accord Panel has recognised this. The JRG has acted as an impediment to skills creation – it created disincentives for universities – particularly in relation to STEM courses, such as engineering and IT, where there are critical shortages.

“The Group of Eight will continue to work with the government on policies to ensure our students are treated fairly and equitably when it comes to financing and student debt arrangement.”  

Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 438 047 155