Every year in June, former university students shield their eyes as their student debt increases in a process known as indexation. Government issued Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) loans track the Consumer Price Index and are intended to keep pace with inflation in order to ensure your student debt maintain its real value.
HECS (pronounced ‘hex’) can feel like a curse for many graduates shackled with debt. When the pandemic pushed inflation negative to -1.9% in the April-June quarter of 2020, one of the few silver-linings of COVID-19 was the prospect of student debt relief. 
HECS has gone through many changes since it was introduced in 1989 following the end of free tertiary education in Australia (it is now rebranded as Higher Education Loan Programme or HELP). While the merit of those changes are debatable, the core features of the original scheme remain in place.
HECS is interest-free, repayments are income-contingent (you pay based on what you earn), capped to limit your loan size and compared to other developed nations (hey, USA 👋 ) one of the most progressive higher education funding schemes available (short of free).
The indexation calculation uses the All Groups Consumer Price Index for the Weighted Average of the 8 Capital Cities as tracked by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It takes the sum of the 4 quarters ending in March and divides them by the sum of the 4 quarters prior to that.
For 2020 and 2019 this indexation calculation resulted in HECS debts rising 1.8% each year. In 2018 HECS debts rose by 1.9%. 
Deflation in the June quarter of 2020 will weigh on this year’s HECS indexation calculation. However, it isn’t enough to offset inflation in the subsequent 3 quarters.
Based on the ABS figures, any HECS debts outstanding on June 1st of 2021 will see an indexation increase of 0.583153% (or 0.6% if the ATO rounds up).
This will be the smallest increase in at least a decade. But it will be an increase. 
Sorry folks, your HECS debt is going up.