Howard de­fends HECS scheme

Townsville Bulletin - - North Queensland: Looking Back, Looking Forward -

PRIME Min­is­ter John Howard has de­fended the HECS con­tri­bu­tion scheme amid rev­e­la­tions some stu­dents are leav­in­gu­ni­ver­sity with debts of more than $50,000.

The HECS (Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Con­tri­bu­tion Scheme) ‘strikes a very good bal­ance’, Mr Howard said yes­ter­day.

‘‘About 75 per cent of a HECS­funded place is paid for by the tax­payer and 25 per cent by the

stu­dent, now that’s the av­er­age.

‘‘I think that’s a fair bal­ance.’’

New De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion fig­ures re­port­edly con­firm stu­dents are leav­in­gu­ni­ver­sity with debts much higher than the av­er­age of $10,500.

The fig­ures show that more than 1000 fin­ished their univer­sity stud­ies ow­ing­more than $50,000, while 5190 stu­dents left uni with debts of more than $40,000.

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