Unis facing free-market thrust
The university sector should be thrown open to the free market, allowing private colleges to access government funding for undergraduate students, under a proposal that could cost up to $800 million, a government-commissioned report says.
The government should also fund thousands of sub-degree programs to keep poorly prepared students out of university courses until they have the academic skills to keep up.
The report into the funding of university places by Andrew Norton and David Kemp concludes the Rudd government’s demand-driven funding system has been a success, with student enrolments increasing by 22 per cent from 2009 to last year, from 444,000 to 541,000. While the demand-driven system cost $6.1 billion last year, the report says the jobs market for degree-qualified people is keeping up with supply, including in areas with skills shortages.