Funding for higher education is a major concern for most students regardless of their origin. Domestic students in Canada have access to federal and provincial loan programs as well as loans and lines of credit through major national banks. International students do not have access to these programs.
Australia is looking at offering Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) style programs to international students. This article we read in The Australian outlines how Australia is looking to maintain competitiveness in the high-education market by exploring the possibility of offering these programs. Undoubtedly the ability to finance one’s university or college education is a key consideration in the decision to study domestically, abroad or at all. Few would make an argument that higher education isn’t worth the investment which leaves the key question, how do we assist those that can’t afford higher-education?
The ability to measure repayment is a key concern for governments and would be for domestic taxpayers. How do you measure repayment when a student goes back to their home country? How do you gage whether a student legitimately qualifies for a loan if tested on a needs-based model?
Is Canada ready to answer these tough questions to remain competitive as well? A little to think about on an overcast day in January…