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Demand builds for Notre Dame


Student applications for the Catholic Notre Dame University have defied gravity, leaping 52.5% against an 8% fall in demand in Western Australia's public universities.

The Australian reports that Notre Dame is attributing the rise to Federal Government reforms that for the first time allow private students access to a deferred student loan.

Under Education Minister Brendan Nelson's higher education overhaul, fee-paying students will be able to borrow up to $50,000 from the Commonwealth under a new loan scheme, FEE-HELP.

Students will pay a 20% surcharge on the loan for undergraduate courses but will not have to repay the loan until their income reaches $35,000.

Notre Dame's manager of prospective student admissions and marketing office, Liz Beal, said students no longer face the daunting prospect of paying their fees up-front.

She said the university, which has 3800 students, is also enjoying greater community awareness, in part because of the publicity surrounding its new Sydney campus, expected to open in 2006.

Notre Dame has also kept most of its course fees on a par with HECS levels - a strategy Ms Beal believed had helped it grow by up to 17% a year during the past four years.

But while access to deferred loans has boosted Notre Dame's applications, it is not showing at Australia's other private university, Bond, where applications have not increased this round.

SOURCE
Demand builds for Notre Dame (The Australian 27/10/04)

LINKS
Notre Dame becomes a 'public' University (CathNews 22/9/04)
There's nothing like a Dame (Online Catholics 22/9/04)
University of Notre Dame Australia
Higher Education Funding Act 1988 | Notre Dame Amendment
Higher Education Funding Policy (Parliamentary Library)
Changing heritage status of inner Sydney church (CathNews 25/8/04)
Pell under fire from canon law (The Australian 25/8/04)
St Vincent's doctors say Notre Dame link will require consultation (CathNEws 19/8/04)
Prime Minister announces Sydney Campus of Notre Dame (Transcript of Speech 1/8/04)
Cardinal Pell visits Notre Dame (University of Notre Dame Australia 6/8/04)
Notre Dame welcomes support for Sydney Campus (CathNews 2/8/04)
Turf wars sours these holy gates (Sydney Morning Herald 1/8/04)

27 Oct 2004