AUSTRALIA: Universities over-enrol in numbers game

Almost a quarter of Australia's universities expect to be over-enrolled by more than 20% this year. And more than two-thirds began the year planning to take on extra students without any federal teaching subsidy to offset the cost, writes Bernard Lane for The Australian.

These estimates, supplied by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, show universities jockeying for position in next year's demand-driven market. From next year, universities are promised teaching subsidies for every place they can fill.

While the government says the rush to over-enrol is proof its tertiary expansion plan is working, commentators are troubled about its viability. "The magnitude of some of the planned unfunded enrolment is worrying, more so given that the overall funding rate is below average costs already," said Simon Marginson, professor of higher education at the University of Melbourne.
Full report on The Australian site