The FEE-HELP problem is of paramount importance for approximately 50% of students studying the Juris Doctor at The University of Melbourne. When students commenced the degree in 2010 the gap was approximately $3,000. This has quickly opened up to $8,618. Many students were not aware, upon commencing the degree, that FEE-HELP would not cover the entire cost of the course. Other students were not aware that the university would be increasing fees beyond inflation, causing the gap to increase at this rate. Many students have been left questioning how they will cover the cost of the degree and if they will be able to complete it.
This page will provide updates on the MULSS campaign to alleviate the burden caused by the FEE-HELP deficit and seek reform of the higher education funding regime.
In response to questions from the peak bodies, media representatives and students inside and outside the Melbourne Law School, the MULSS FEE-HELP Working Group has created a Explanatory Note on the FEE-HELP deficit.
Summer 2012/13 Campaign
Following consultation with various stakeholders within the law school and other Victorian law schools, the LSS Committee has launched a FEE-HELP Email and Letter campaign with the first of several emails and letters being sent to organisations around the country today. The LSS Committee has struggled to gain the attention of the powers that be in advocating for FEE-HELP reform so we are seeking the assistance of the movers and shakers within the legal profession and higher education in Victoria and Australia.
In April of 2012 the LSS sent an open letter to the Hon. Nicola Roxon MP, an alumna of Melbourne Law School, urging the Government to lift the FEE-HELP loan limit. A copy of this letter is available here. A petition asking students to support the campaign circulated through classes garnered over 500 signatures and was sent with the letter.
The MLS have announced the establishment of a small number of "Melbourne Law School Completion Bursaries" to assist FEE-HELP students complete their degree. For more information, visit the faculty website page.