Call for rethink on university fee subsidies

Taxpayers could save A$3 billion (US$3.17 billion) in the next four years if the government spent less on subsidising university students, with new research showing fee help had little or no bearing on a student's decision to enter tertiary education or on their future earnings, writes Jen Rosenberg for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Existing fee subsidies are merely redistributing income to students and graduates who would have attended university anyway, according to the report, Graduate Winners, by the independent think-tank the Grattan Institute. It suggests that the A$6 billion (US$6.34 billion) the government spends on fee support could be spent in ways that deliver greater public benefit.

The findings challenge the model in which the federal government is investing heavily in boosting student participation, including encouraging more students from disadvantaged backgrounds. With the uncapping of student places this year, the bill for Commonwealth support places is expected to reach A$7 billion to help domestic students.
Full report on The Sydney Morning Herald site