Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Go8 Wants Fees on High Return Courses Uncapped

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Go8 Wants Fees on High Return Courses Uncapped

Article excerpt

Australia's top universities have asked to be freed from price capping for courses with the highest graduate-earning premium.

The Group of Eight made the request in its submission to the Australian government's review of its demand-driven undergraduate funding system, which is due to report next month.

The Go8 hails the uncapping of funded places as "an important step on the way to a more responsive, more market-driven and less regulated higher education system". But it adds that deregulation has not gone far enough and proposes that universities be allowed to charge whatever tuition fees they like in exchange for no longer claiming public subsidy for those courses. Such a mechanism was proposed in the 2008 Bradley Review, which also made the original proposal to uncap student places.

The Go8's proposed scheme would initially be limited to law, accountancy, administration, economics and commerce, but could later be extended to "other fields of high private return".

Australian undergraduate fees are currently set by the government at variable rates according to complex criteria involving the earnings premium associated with each course and its national importance. …

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