Media release: TAFE HECS plans raise prospect of increased fees

25 February 2020

The NSW Government proposal to introduce the HECS system for TAFE students raises the very real prospect of significant fee increases, and the risk of high level debt for students doing vocational education.

Greens MP and Education Spokesperson said:

“When HECS was first introduced for university students it marked the end of free tuition, and the start of ever more expensive courses that leave many students in debt for their whole lives.

“We need to be encouraging students to learn at their local TAFE, not putting up more barriers.

“This is a unique time for NSW because rebuilding after the fires and transitioning to a low carbon economy both require more skilled workers, and TAFE is uniquely placed to train them.

“We can afford to make TAFE free, and doing so would provide a dramatic boost to regional areas, kick start new industries and give workers the skills they need for quality jobs with a future.

“We know that once these loans are in place, the Government will use them as an excuse to raise TAFE fees, just like happened with universities.

“Saddling apprentices with large debt in the early years of their career sends the wrong message and will exacerbate skills shortages.

“It’s time to stop giving subsidies to private training colleges and properly fund a world class TAFE system. We can’t afford not to,” Mr Shoebridge said.