In this post I make no comment on the positives or negatives of the proposed Australian budget on higher education. Suffice to say, it will have a significant impact (for non-Australians see here for the Australian government’s description, though see here for a story from the Guardian on the impact of the Budget).
The report is relevant for there will be a lot of discussion about student debt if the proposed budget goes into effect (as seems likely). Inevitably eyes will turn to the US and some will specifically point to its putative student loan crisis as a warning. But, this new report from the Brookings Institution, a reliable and largely centrist think tank, makes for thoughtful reading.
Despite acknowledging that “[c]ollege tuition and student debt levels have been increasing at a fast pace for at least two decades” and that there are now “serious questions about whether the market for student debt is headed for a crisis, with many borrowers unable to repay their loans and taxpayers being forced to foot the bill” the Report’s analysis of the data actually concludes that “typical borrowers are no worse off now than they were a generation ago, and also suggest that the borrowers struggling with high debt loads frequently featured in media coverage may not be part of a new or growing phenomenon.” The full report can be found here.