Journal article

Social Effects of the Australian Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)

G MARKS

Higher Education | Springer | Published : 2009

Abstract

Australia's Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) is an income contingent loan scheme, in which university students pay back part of the costs of their tuition after their post-university income reaches a certain threshold, is an important policy innovation for the financing of higher education. However, its critics claim that HECS increases socioeconomic inequalities in higher education and the HECS debt reduces the ability of young people to make the transitions to adulthood. This paper investigates these claims. There is no evidence that socioeconomic inequalities in higher education in Australia increased after the implementation of HECS in 1989 or the 1997 reforms. The magnitude o..

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University of Melbourne Researchers