An independent MP’s petition to make HECS fairer for university students has attracted almost 220,000 signatures in under two weeks.

Member for Kooyong Monique Ryan launched the petition 12 days ago and it already has 216,000 signatures.

The petition proposes to index HECS loans in line with each year’s lowest indexation rate, such as the consumer price index or wage price index

University of Wollongong law and communications and media student Lachlan McInerney said he was not taught about Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and much students would pay for their tertiary education.

“Especially when you’re just going into uni, I don’t think people really know how much it’s going to cost and when exactly you’re going to pay it,” Mr McInerney said.

“Just because it’s out there, doesn’t mean that there’s an active role within our educators, within our universities, within our government, to really push and encourage students to have a look at it.”

@mon4kooyongHECS debt update (ignore the bells!)♬ original sound – Dr Monique Ryan MP

The petition circulated just as the Fair Work Commission announced last week it woukld aim to increase the minimum wage and assist low-income workers to combat inflation from July this year.

The changes will assist university students struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. However, Ms Ryan said easing the financial impact of HECS system was not a priority for Education Minister Jason Clare.

University of Wollongong economic professor Sandy Suardi said students should be aware of how the HECS system constantly changes throughout each year.

“It doesn’t just remain the same over the last decade, it’s always going to change according to what the prevailing interest rates in the market is,” Prof. Suardi said.

“If you have a much lower interest rate and a level of indexation that reduces that rate, that clearly would ease the budget of most students, given that prices are all going up and that they have to be spending a lot more for their daily consumption.”

Mr McInerney said he doubted the benefits of increasing the minimum wage for university students.

“Inherently, raising the minimum wage is a good idea, but again, the issue that arises comes from the inability of the HECS system to be flexible,” Mr McInerney said.

“When you’re just looking at people in terms of how much they earn and you’re just taking that figure and, by using that figure, you’re telling them how much they’ve got to pay at a certain point in their life, I think that’s the issue.”

Ms Ryan aims to reach 300,000 signatures before this year’s Federal Budget is delivered on Tuesday, May 14.