Last year, Labor and the Liberals came together to hike up HELP fees for university students by converting the Student Start-Up Scholarship into a loan.
The Student Start-Up Scholarship allows students from disadvantaged or low income backgrounds to purchase the textbooks and equipment they need to study, and for many it is the difference between being able to pay their rent or buy groceries, and not. The Scholarship is a necessity for most students on Youth Allowance, not a choice.
By turning the Scholarship into a loan, hundreds of thousands of low-income students are being saddled with an extra $6150 of lifetime debt.
The Greens are calling for this decision to be reversed and for the Student Start-Up Scholarships to be turned back into a grant. Watch Senator Robert Simms speak out in the Senate against scrapping the Scholarships here.
Higher education should be accessible to all, not just the privileged few.