Australia backs down on plans to charge Kiwi students higher fees

University fees Australia
The Australian Government has tossed out proposed legislative changes that would have seen Kiwis pay more to study in Australia. (The Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Oz Kiwi opinion

We’ve had a victory – the Australian Government has announced that it is scrapping its plans to charge Kiwis full fees for tertiary education.

However, we also have a new fight on our hands. The Government is now planning to extend waiting periods for migrants for a range of payments.

From 1 July 2018 the Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period (NARWP) will be extended from 2 to 3 years. This means Kiwis who are granted permanent visas will face a longer wait before being eligible for a range of welfare payments.

It may also mean that all New Zealanders, whether on SCVs or permanent visas, will face an extended waiting period to access health care cards.

Payments previously not subject to waiting periods, such as Carer’s Payment, Paid Parental Leave (PPL), and Family Tax Benefit (FTB) will now be subject to fulfilling the NARWP.

However, some exemptions will be made to allow SCV holders to continue to access PPL and FTB without a waiting period. Oddly enough, this would seem to put SCV holders in a better position than permanent visa holders (including NZ citizens with permanent visas).

We will bring you more information as it comes to hand.

Australia backs down on plans to charge Kiwi students higher fees

18 December 2017

Laura Walters

Kiwis studying at Australian universities will retain their access to government-subsidised fees.

The Australian Government has scrapped legislation that would have seen a significant fees rise for New Zealanders studying in Australia, after the Bill stalled in the Senate.

University fees for New Zealanders studying at university in Australia became an election issue after Jacinda Ardern said she wouldn’t rule out retaliation if the Australian Government hiked Kiwis’ fees.

Australians studying in New Zealand received reciprocal benefits, where they were charged the same fees as domestic students.

More than 10,000 Kiwis study in Australia, where the total university student population is about 1 million people.

[Read the full Stuff article].


Find out about planned restrictions on new migrants accessing certain welfare benefits in Part 1: Overview (page 9) of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2017-18.

What were the proposed changes to university fees?

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