Rising university prices pushing students away

Rising University prices are forcing students into early debt, leaving students stuck with the prospect of dropping out, and school-leavers wondering whether they should seek a high education at all. In an effort to combat this growing problem, Griffith University should implement a new program to hire students to work on campus, offering vouchers, and discounted access to facilities.

The Grattan Institute, an Australian public policy think tank, has found that current and former students have accumulated Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts of almost $10 billion since 2007.The report estimates that $6.2 billion is not expected to be paid back.

Griffith University Student Natalie Finlay believes hiring students is a good idea. ‘If you could work here in exchange for board then it’s something I’d consider.’ Finlay believes that employing students would be helpful because they wouldn’t need to travel, however they would have to factor in their studies to coincide with their work hours.

Food outlets at Griffith University’s Nathan campus, such as The Common, The Hubbit convenience store, and Uni Bar & Function Centre would be encouraged to employ students with a contract lasting the full length of their degree to help them repay their loans.

Griffith University Co-Op store manager Vicki Loader suggested that a system could be implemented ‘where Griffith can help fund the cost of the textbooks -which would be mean tested- for lower socio-economic students who would qualify for the scheme.’ She also suggested creating online versions of textbooks ‘where students can access ebooks from the co-op…like downloading an ebook,’ and believes this would work for students who qualify for academic merit.

By allowing students to work at the uni to reduce their fees and lower their debt, this will encourage future students to study at Griffith University and give them strong work ethic for when they complete their studies and enter the workforce. It would be a great way to enhance the image of the university for prospective students, and would lead the way in the digital revolution of the academic field.

Claire Fitzpatrick is studying HR and Politics at Griffith University and Psychology at RMIT. She thinks Jon Snow is a Targaryen, and Pulp Fiction is the greatest movie of all time. In her spare time she writes about the Vietnam War and chases after a toddler who constantly steals her bookmarks.

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