The Government has announced a package of reforms to higher education – the Higher Education Reform Package – to take effect generally from 1 January 2018. Under the package the maximum student contribution will increase from 1 January 2018, but there will be no up-front fees and no deregulation of fees. 

A new set of repayment thresholds will be introduced from 1 July 2018, affecting all current and future Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debtors by changing the timing and quantity of their repayments as shown in the following table.
HELP repayment income  Repayment rate (% of HELP repayment income)
 Below $55,874  Nil
 $55,874–$62,238 4%
 $62,239–$68,602 4.5%
 $68,603–$72,207 5%
 $72,208–$77,618 5.5%
 $77,619–$84,062 6%
 $84,063–$88,486 6.5%
 $88,487–$97,377 7%
 $97,378–$103,765 7.5%
 $103,766 and above 8%

Maximum student contributions will also be increased, phasing in by 1.8% each year between 2018 and 2021 to cumulate in a 7.5% total increase.

From 1 July 2019, the indexation of HELP repayment thresholds, currently linked to Average Weekly Earnings (AWE), will be changed to align to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).