The Abbott government is expected to introduce its higher education reforms to parliament on Thursday.
The legislation will spell out its budget plans to deregulate university fees, expand commonwealth funding for private providers and sub-bachelor courses, cut per-student funding and increase the interest rate for HELP debts.
The bill is guaranteed to pass the lower house unchanged.
But Education Minister Christopher Pyne has conceded the package won't get through the Senate in its original form.
He's set to step up negotiations with the Palmer United Party and the Australian Greens to persuade them to back the reforms.
Both want university education to be free.
Labor has called on the government to "see sense" and scrap the package.