Advertisements

Demand system expansion to be funded from fees…?

The Australian     |     28 April 2014

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The Abbott government is evidently preparing to open up the university sector to greater competition by making government subsidies available for students to study at private colleges and funding sub-degree places, at a cost to students of increased fees.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Education minister Christopher Pyne, in a speech to be delivered to London-based think tank The Policy Exchange, is $ signexpected to put the case for tertiary sector deregulation, saying the Coalition wants to set providers “free” from red tape and bureaucracy. A “preview” of his speech has Pyne saying

Ours is a deregulatory government. The Coalition government will continue to take steps to set higher education providers free, provide them with more autonomy and challenge them to map out their futures according to their strengths.

But such deregulation increases the likelihood of students are facing higher fees.

Pyne will support reforms contained in a government-commissioned report released two weeks ago by Howard government education minister David Kemp and economist Andrew Norton, which to pay for expansion of the student funding system by allowing universities to set their own fees and/or add a 10%  fee to student loans.

Students say they should not have to foot the bill for extending government subsidies to -private colleges and other providers.  National Union of Students president Deanna Taylor  said the NUS is planning strategies to deal with the possibility of increased fees, including a day of action on campuses on 14 May.

The vice-chancellors of the Group of Eight universities have begun lobbying hard for deregulation of fees.

Reprising earlier comment in the Times Higher Education supplement, Warren Bebbington, head of the University of Adelaide, told The Australian that opening up the higher education sector to private colleges “would enrich the whole environment”.

Some types of colleges will appear that we don’t have at the moment. There will be a wider range of choice and price. But unlike what Mr Pyne says in his speech, that won’t help our position in international rankings which are based on research performance, not teaching.

Currently, the government contributes, on average, about 60% of the annual contribution for undergraduate education, with students paying the other 40% via the income contingent loans scheme – HELP.

The loans are only repaid when students reach a specified minimum income level, currently $52,000.

 

See:
Universities should be able to charge what they want
Split on extending CSPs – and fees
Davis bullish on fees
Policy directions in higher education
The thing about fees….
Is the price right?
Advertisements

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: