Medical degree cost may rise by over 200%

The federal government announced in the budget on Tuesday that from 2016 universities will be able to set their own course fees and real interest will be applied to student debts for the first time.

Speaking to MO, economist Professor Bruce Chapman, director of policy impact at the Australian National University and architect of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme, said the proposed changes would affect the degrees most in demand.

“Universities will get discretion about what to charge, and they are very likely to increase the charges where the demand is high. Law, medicine, medical science, veterinary science and dentistry will likely be the degrees that are affected,” he said.

Professor Chapman had voiced concern that students who drop out of university and start out in low-paying jobs would be hit the hardest by the new scheme, but he told MO that this issue may be perceived to be less of a concern for students