ABC News | 25 September 2013
Education minister Christopher Pyne is trying to hose down concerns he is planning to renege on a promise not to restore limits on university places, but says he has ordered a review because he says evidence suggests “quality is suffering to achieve quantity”.
Labor abolished the cap on university places in 2007 to boost access to higher education, especially for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
But Pyne says the change has led to an “exponential” growth in student numbers and consequent concerns about quality in the sector.
You must be living in a bubble … if you think that there is not an issue in universities about whether there are quality issues about the extraordinary number of students being enrolled. I’ve said that we will put quality in tertiary education as our number one priority, and that means we need to review the demand-driven system of university places because there is some evidence … that quality is suffering to achieve quantity.
University enrolments have increased by about 25% (190,000) since 2007.
And he says there are concerns that students are not doing the right courses.
There’s certainly a lot of evidence that the number of students enrolled has grown exponentially, and whether they have grown in the courses that have a career path is one of the things that we need to carefully consider. It would be wrong of the universities and the Commonwealth Government to simply be training people for careers that don’t exist.