Cash crisis as universities change course

More people want to be doctors, nurses and dentists, but a new analysis warns that universities are going to struggle to cover the cost of teaching them, writes Emma Macdonald for Canberra Times.

Research shows there has been a massive increase in demand for health courses over the past decade. Training for these courses are the most expensive to run. A Group of Eight research paper into shifting demand in disciplines warns of a potential A$4 billion (US$4 billion) gap between federal funding and the cost of course delivery. Meanwhile, cheaper courses to run, such as information technology, management and commerce, have fallen in popularity.

The paper questions how this rise in expenses will be paid for – calling on the government to deregulate fees in the same way it has deregulated university places, so students will pay a greater share when they enrol in more expensive courses.

Group of Eight Executive Director Michael Gallagher said the government had failed to plan for a potential financial double-whammy for universities, arising from huge enrolment growth plus the fact that growth was concentrated in the more expensive courses.
Full report on the Canberra Times site