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Davis bullish on fees

The Age     |    19 April 2014

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The vice-chancellor of Melbourne University has backed a review of student fees if tertiary funding is cut in next month’s federal budget.

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Glyn Davis says it is a ”reality” that students may have to contribute a greater share of the cost of their education or Glyn Davis 3quality would be sacrificed.

The question is: do we just take the cuts or is there some scope to lift fees? Do we run down our universities or do we look at other sources of income? No one wants to introduce higher fees but the reality won’t go away just because it is difficult.

We are at an inflection point – we will look back and see this as an important moment for higher education in Australia.

He encouraged a national debate on lifting student fees, saying the current funding system is ”incoherent” and ”arbitrary”.

Davis’ comments follow the release of an Abbott government report on university funding that backed increased student contributions for some courses.

With the Coalition committed to delivering the previous Labor government’s $2.3 billion cuts to higher education, Davis says the entire system for funding university places needs to be rethought.

There aren’t very good explanations for why the Commonwealth pays 40 per cent for some degrees and only 18 per cent for others.

 

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