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Regular version of the site

‘Income Contingent Loans for Higher Education and COVID-19,’ a session of the World Bank / HSE University webinar series

Event ended

‘Education under COVID-19: Problems, Solutions, Perspectives, Research’ webinar series
in association with the Higher School of Economics (Russia) and ECA Education

‘Income Contingent Loans for Higher Education and COVID-19’

 Online| May 26, 2020 | 7:309:00am | Washington, DC Time

2:304:00pm | Moscow Time


Join on WebEx


Language: English


Bruce Chapman, Professor of Economics, Australian National University


Harry Patrinos, Practice Manager, Education Global Practice, the World Bank


Nina Arnhold, Global Lead, Tertiary Education GSG, Education Global Practice, the World Bank


Student loans systems are in trouble worldwide: millions of former students are in default with ruined credit reputations; and governments are spending hundreds of billions of dollars propping up destructive and ineffective loan arrangements. The webinar will comprehensively analyze the issue consisting in that most student loans are collected on the basis of time, creating major problems for debtors with low incomes. There is a simple solution, income-contingent loans, which have been equitable and efficient in Australia, England, and New Zealand, and are close to adoption in many other countries: for example, Colombia, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia.

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About the Presenter:

Bruce Chapman 

Professor of Economics, Australian National University


Bruce Chapman is a Professor of Economics at the Australian National University. He is an Australian economist and academic known for being the founder and architect of the HECS (Higher Education Contribution Scheme) loans system. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2003.

He received a Bachelor’s in Economics at the Australian National University and earned his PhD in Economics from Yale University. In 1989, the Australian Federal Government led by Bob Hawke introduced the Higher Education Contributions Scheme (HECS), which was first intimated by Professor Murray Wells. Bruce Chapman further developed the policy with the support of John Dawkins, who then served as the Minister of Education. Chapman was also an advisor to the Keating Government in 1994–1996. In the original HECS, a $1,800 fee was charged to all university students, and the Commonwealth Government footed the bill. It was a first of its kind loan scheme that used the tax system to collect repayments. The scheme has influenced other countries like the United Kingdom, Ghana, New Zealand, and Hungary to introduce their own model of a higher education contribution scheme. Since then, Chapman worked with governments on policies such as the Working Nation and the 2010 changes to Youth Allowance. 


About the webinar series:

A webinar series “Education under COVID-19: Problems, Solutions, Perspectives, Research” provides a venue for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers to discuss and search for evidence-based responses to the major challenges education faces at the global, regional, and national levels in the context of the pandemic. These challenges primarily relate to economics of education (for instance, estimation of losses in terms of human capital and financing) and sociology of education (how does the institutional landscape changes with the new players entering the field? What could the consequences of COVID-19 be for social mobility and inequality, especially for the underprivileged?). Other disciplines involved may be political science, pedagogy, and psychology.

Distinctive features of this initiative are:

  • Concrete topic for each webinar, connected with some practical issue or problem of global importance, but as precise as possible.
  • Evidence-based nature of presented materials: each webinar offers novel empirical data, most often quantitative, analyzed through the particular theoretical lenses.
  • Leading international experts connected with representatives at the regional level. Voices from different parts of the globe will be connected with global picture and statistical trends.

We invite experts to share results of research, ideas, and practices about how education systems can respond to various challenges stemming from the COVID-2019 crisis. While addressing different topics, all webinars include a discussion on implications for policy makers and practitioners.

All webinars are held in English. Webinars can be accessed online via WebEx. Instructions on how to attend a WebEx webinar. For questions about the webinar, please contact Anna Polyanskaya (apolyanskaya@hse.ru).

If you would like to propose a topic or speaker, please email Pavel Sorokin (psorokin@hse.ru) and Tigran Shmis (tshmis@worldbank.org).

Education Global Practice Webpage

The Education GP BBL Series provides a space for World Bank education staff and visiting researchers and speakers to share recent findings, innovative on-the ground experience, and implementation challenges and successes relevant to the work of the Bank in education.