Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)

12 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2013 Last revised: 15 Aug 2013

See all articles by Bruce Chapman

Bruce Chapman

Australian National University, Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) - Economics Program; Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Jane Nicholls

Independent

Date Written: May 1, 2013

Abstract

The Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) was the first national university policy in which tuition was collected through the tax system and dependent on the income of debtors. At the time of its introduction in 1989 HECS was a both controversial and novel initiative, with the financing reform process being accompanies by spirited and at times hostile argument. The paper documents and explains the political and economic context surrounding the introduction of HECS, and examines the views and activities of the major political groups engaged in the debate. We touch briefly on the role of the academic and research associated with the development of HECS. Systems of income contingent loans based on the Australian model are becoming commonplace internationally, a development which seemed very unlikely 25 years ago.

Keywords: HECS, income content loans, higher education financing, university tuition

Suggested Citation

Chapman, Bruce James and Nicholls, Jane, Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) (May 1, 2013). Crawford School Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies Research Paper No. 02/2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2307733 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2307733

Bruce James Chapman (Contact Author)

Australian National University, Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) - Economics Program ( email )

HC Coombs Building
Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Jane Nicholls

Independent ( email )

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