University students would pay a greater proportion of education costs and start repaying their student loans at a lower income threshold under recommendations by the audit commission.
The commission said there should be a “rebalancing of public and private contributions” for higher education and also questioned the school funding increase under the Gonski model.
The commission said university students should pay 55% of the cost of an average bachelor degree, compared with the 40% they pay currently. It estimates people with a degree can expect to earn $430,000 over their lifetime.
Loans should be repaid once income hits the minimum wage, currently $32,354 a year) at 2.5% of income. Repayment currently starts when taxable income reaches $51,309.
On schools funding, the commission recommends the transfer of all policy and funding responsibility for schools to states.
All commonwealth funding should be delivered in three non-transferable buckets, government schools, private schools and Catholic systemic schools.
The Coalition promised to fund Gonski until 2018. The commission recommends from that time, annual per student funding should be indexed by weighted average of Consumer Price Index and Wage Price Index.
It also requires states to publish how they allocate school funds, more national and international testing, and to publish student outcomes consistently.