With the announcement of the increase of the retirement age to 70, as well as sweeping reforms to welfare payments for those out of work – how does this affect the student demographic at UOW?
Over the past decade, the University of Wollongong has “seen more than 6000 mature age students graduate, and change their direction.
This figure could be set to rise in the wake of the Federal Budget handed down by Joe Hockey last night, with the age pension minimum age extended to 70.
In an attempt to retrain and equip themselves with new knowledge and skills, many older Australians will return to tertiary education facilities.
The Sydney Morning Herald stated today that “The government estimates that more than 500 000 age pensioners will be affected by the change” to the pension, but what isn’t known is just how many of these affected will seek retraining in order to remain financially supported into their retirement.
Mature-aged student at UOW Imad Youseff says that while he’s long way from applying for the age pension, he’s fully aware of the extended period he’ll now have to work before he can retire.
“Retraining yourself I hard once you’ve been out in the workforce for a while. I’ts hard to get back into that frame of mind.”
“Once I graduate I will be able to go back out into the workforce and get a job that I can stick with instead of doing a job I don’t want to do, just because I didn’t have a good education
International student Li Wei, who is in his final year of a Biochemistry course agrees.
Whether or not the university will feel the flow-on effects of the changes to the age pension remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure. With the increase to university fees, and the tightening of the age pension criteria, students will bask blissfully in the sun no longer.
“It’s not about choosing young people over old people, it’s about giving people who want to retrain themselves the opportunity to do so.”