Panel examines feasibility of international student loans

Post date: Jan 28, 2013 11:1:44 PM

The tertiary education industry could soon be set to receive a boost in business if a team of experts are able to find a way to deliver international students with HECS-style loans.

A three-year study is being funded by a $40,000 grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) into the feasibility of providing foreign nationals wishing to study abroad.

On the team is Dr Bruce Chapman - one of the chief architects of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) - and chief executive of Universities Australia Dr Glenn Withers.

Their combined experience will be challenged by a complex mix of international business laws, changes to migration visas, subsidies, source of loans and the details of repayment.

The team will need to navigate a number of state regulations regarding the mix of public and private funds being lent to international visitors to come up with a scheme that is profitable to those providing the funds and that boosts foreign exchange numbers.

However, Chapman told The Australian on January 18 that any amount of assistance would be helpful, as many of the 180,000 international students currently in the country have to pay around $20,000 "up front" each year in fees.

Chapman asserted: "If they could find a way of paying it back later, depending on their future income, that would take away a major barrier."

To read more, go to Migration Alliance News, 19 January 2013

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