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  • Uni fees - discuss

    I found these articles through work and thought the commentary was interesting and factual - not emotive.
    I dont know much about fees and wanted to get PSB's thoughts.

    Vice-chancellors in Australia are calling for the government to reform how student fees and funding rates are set for different courses.
    University heads say the current system is outdated, too complicated and filled with anomalies.
    Students currently pay higher fees for courses that lead to jobs with typically higher wages. But not all students find, or want, a job that’s within the same area in which they studied. So is this fair? Should all students instead pay the same amount for their university degree? Two education experts debate.
    ________________________________________
    Students should pay different amounts for different courses
    Andrew Norton says:
    Since 1997, Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) fees or student contributions have differed between disciplines.
    There are three different annual student contribution levels – A$6,256, $8,917 and $10,440.

    Which disciplines are allocated to each rate depends mainly on assumed future earnings, with the cost of the course playing a minor role.
    So law and medicine, which typically lead to relatively well-paid careers, are priced at $10,440 a year. Nursing, education and arts, with lower likely future earnings, are charged at $6,256 a year. And in the middle we have disciplines such as computing, allied health and architecture at $8,917 a year.

    The rates were changed from the previous flat HECS charge, of about $4,000 a year in today’s money, to raise revenue for the government.
    It reduced its public subsidies by an amount equivalent to the additional student revenue, leaving universities in the same financial position as before.

    The government’s savings target could have been achieved by continuing with a flat fee, which would have meant that nursing, education and arts students paid more and law and medical students paid less.
    But within a generally progressive system of government revenue-raising, it’s not clear that flat fees would be better.

    Fees that differ according to discipline create a rough relationship with capacity to pay – a doctor can afford higher fees than a nurse, for example, because usually a doctor earns much more over his or her career.
    Differential fees are also more egalitarian in terms of the effort required to repay. Because hourly rates of pay vary between occupations, a flat fee would take someone on $30 an hour twice as much time at work to repay as someone on $60 an hour.

    The current system helps even out total HECS-HELP repayment times to a median of about 10 years.
    Current differences between the disciplines do need revising.

    Engineering graduates on average earn more than business graduates, but business students pay more for their courses than engineering students.
    A careful examination would probably reveal more anomalies like this.

    A proposal to link Australian Taxation Office and Department of Education data could give us a much better understanding of how earnings differ between degrees.
    We have had more than three rates of student contributions in the past and perhaps we should again, if patterns of graduate earnings show this is justified.
    Problems with the detail of current student contributions do not mean their broad conceptual basis is mistaken.

    Charging HECS by discipline from 1997 shared the financial pain of reduced public funding more fairly than a flat fee system.
    If we need to reduce per student funding again, getting some graduates to pay more than others will continue as the more equitable option.
    Students should pay the same fees for university courses

    Conor King says:
    Student payments should primarily reflect the value of acquiring a degree, with the government payment ensuring university revenue reflects significant differences in the costs of delivery by discipline.
    The case is put on the basis of student charges continuing to be limited to set amount(s) by government.

    A single charge need not be set at the highest current point. It just has to be sufficiently high that, when combined with the government’s subsidy, universities can provide the education students require.
    As it happens, the English system has a single common maximum (£9,000), which most universities apply to all students. The US public systems generally do not vary the charge by discipline. For example, California has a system-wide tuition and fee charge of US$12,240.

    What Australia, or any modern society needs, is people with a wide mix of capabilities and knowledge. We want people to fulfil their potential, in a world where future employment is expected to change constantly, with the detail of the degree rapidly losing relevance.

    The funding and charging structure should encourage people to do so, through supporting each discipline neutrally, letting individual choice drive course selection.
    Various arguments are made for why some subjects should cost more than others. Mostly, these build on rationales put forward in 1997 to justify the fee increase.

    One argument is that if a course costs more, then students should pay more for it. Why is that? We are not talking about the difference between a Mercedes and a Toyota, where the Mercedes performs much better than the Toyota on most measures of a car, and presumably costs a bit more to produce.

    An agricultural science degree is not better than an engineering degree, and an engineering degree is not better than a business degree. They simply represent different areas of learning, each intended to give their graduates a solid foundation to apply in employment and in their future lives.

    We should not reward or punish a particular preference by charging more or less for pursuing it.
    The reality of the current fee schedule bands is that there is little connection between the cost of the course and the charge.
    Business and law are moderately low cost to provide, but students pay the same as the high-cost health disciplines of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. Nursing and arts lie together in the lowest band.
    The second argument is that cost should reflect future earnings.

    The initial disciplines in the highest band – lawyers and doctors, dentists and vets – were there because the government knew few would care if those students complained.
    In reverse, nurses and school teachers were in the lowest band to avoid opposition to setting different rates, even though both provide good starting salaries but with limited options for progression. Future earnings were a diversionary tactic.

    What rationale there was reduced considerably when business and accounting were moved to the top band in 2008, charging many more students the highest amount.
    We know that within any professions, some people will work in legal aid or public health while others will be the high flyers in the corporate world. More prosaically, the majority will be suburban solicitors, accountants or GPs.
    Assumptions about what jobs there will be or who will be the big earners may or may not hold true in the future.

    What is more certain is that income tax will continue to be weighted to higher earnings. The tax system and the protection of HECS-HELP repayments being tied to income are the response to differences in future earnings, charging people based on what they achieve rather than their initial choice.

    http://theconversation.com/should-st...-courses-63384


    Dubs

  • #2
    Just a thought, review it based on the actual costs of the course.
    Ie, a business unit with 3 contact hours a week should cost less than a science unit with 6h contact / week + lab equipment + materials (chemicals etc).

    I had a hecs debt of about 25k when I left uni. Paid it off without too much trouble. Its the cheapest loan you'll ever get...

    Or make it free - like - you know - the rest of the progressive world (not usa)
    "Heaven doesn't want me, and hell is afraid I'll take over"

    Comment


    • #3
      Well fuck. Im paying the high backet hecs debt, to land job that pays less than nurses. Dam you medicine !
      Originally posted by DailyBanana
      That little girl likes her pizza more than you like people

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting topic, but in my opinion misses the bigger issue.

        What skills will Australia need more of in 5-10 years?
        IT degrees should probably cost less.
        Law degrees should be unaffordable.

        If the aim is to create a 'smarter' and sustainable country that thrives through innovation, then all degrees should be free (except law).
        Students should only pay for failed units at a (fairly high) fixed rate.

        If the plan is to survive the next 50 years by selling our unlimited and indispensable raw materials to the rest of the world, then keep on jacking university fees up.
        Respect is earned, not enforced.

        Comment


        • #5
          In reverse, nurses and school teachers were in the lowest band to avoid opposition to setting different rates, even though both provide good starting salaries but with limited options for progression.
          Minor point. Im just finishing up my Graduate Diploma to become a High School teacher. Starting salary would be just under 70k. The problem is that is for a full time load teaching position of 5 classes per week. Many jobs vacancies are for 0.6, 0.8 and some as low as 0.4 full time equivalent so you can only expect to get a percentage of the full time salary. This wouldn't be a terrible issue if you were able to get extra work, but the fact that teaching hours will be spread across each day of the week makes it difficult to commit to anything extra. Not only that, but as a graduate we have to build up our portfolio of lessons and can expect to do 1-2 hours planning for every hour of teaching.

          I had an undergrad in Geology, cost about 15k for the three years. I believe it was meant to be more than that but subsidized by the government at the time, plus I paid it off up front to get the 20% discount.

          I feel I agree with Hazelnutty. Charge according to what the unit costs. Majority of my classes this past 12 months have been sitting around talking in groups. My geology units consisted of work with a range of lab equipment and computers etc. Charge more to cover the costs.
          I was just raising hell I wasn't doing no harm, the cops could not appreciate my natural charm.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Duffman View Post
            Interesting topic, but in my opinion misses the bigger issue.

            What skills will Australia need more of in 5-10 years?
            IT degrees should probably cost less.
            Law degrees should be unaffordable.

            If the aim is to create a 'smarter' and sustainable country that thrives through innovation, then all degrees should be free (except law).
            Students should only pay for failed units at a (fairly high) fixed rate.

            If the plan is to survive the next 50 years by selling our unlimited and indispensable raw materials to the rest of the world, then keep on jacking university fees up.
            I reckon will continue on the way we have.... have done fuck all innovative.

            If anything were going backwards we have people who can't spell properly because of autocorrect / can't add because of calculators and can't work out how to do anything safe without doing 5ks ph , a take5 or jha.
            Last edited by Halo_2; 20-05-2017, 07:22 PM.
            "Some people are like clouds. When they disappear it's a beautiful day"

            Comment


            • #7
              Workers with certificates and diplomas from Australia’s vocational education and training institutions had starting salaries of $56,000 — $2000 higher than uni graduates — and were more likely to find work, according to research conducted on behalf of Skilling Australia Foundation.
              “Confusion about career earnings, employability and course relevance has led to a culture of belief that only university qualifications guarantee a future career,” said researcher Mark McCrindle, who undertook the study.

              Released today, his report found Vocational Education and Training graduates with qualifications in electrical hazards had a higher maximum starting salary ($85,400) than dentistry graduates ($80,000), the highest-paid among graduates.

              Comment


              • #8
                Fees should be directly connected to costs.

                If there are 1,000 people enrolled in Business and they are spread among 5 lecturers in 5 classrooms, that should be cheaper to provide than 200 people enrolled in Fine Arts spread among 5 lecturers and 10 studios (as a clumsy example)

                Then you look at Medicine with it's 100 enrollments requiring dead bodies, highly qualified instructors and stuff... that's specialist shit that could rightfully ask for reimbursements from the other branches of a university in the interests of providing doctors to us all. Medicine can and should be the most costly degree to provide, but should be the cheapest fees.

                Comment


                • #9
                  University should be paid for by tax, for the good of us all.
                  For every student giving away uni due to the fee's we're all losing out on the increased tax they would have paid over their lifetime.
                  That and I can't remember the last time a country went down the tubes because its population was too educated.

                  http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_br...61/index1.html

                  https://plot.ly/~alexandre.afonso/643.embed
                  Doug

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just to add to the confusion re cost of running a course it can also depend on how the individual department of the UNI is actually structured. For example the one I work in the research pays for the teaching, typically class sizes are somewhere between small and very small its of little consequence if the course was charged on costs fees would be very high due to equipment costs, if we didn't make any money no doubt corporate management would of disposed of us a long time ago. A similar department in the same school the teaching pays for the research so a sudden decline in student numbers is a [email protected]#$ing disaster and they are sharting bricks this year.
                    Harvey community radio has a motorcycling show listen over the web here www.harveycommunityradio.com.au ,Facebook here http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Mo...34691323302991 yes I am the goose that hosts it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I believe subsidisation of university fees should be re-distributed to follow my world view of their value to society:

                      Highly subsidised - Doctors, Dentists, Engineers, Scientists, etc etc - people who have a prospect of innovating and giving back to society
                      No subsidy ie full fee paying - all Arts degrees (seriously you should see some of their PhD titles - why is Average Joe subsidising this shite... and the best artists never went to uni anyway!), Commerce and Accounting (they add no real value on their own (I should know as I have a BCom) and likely end up well remunerated anyway)
                      Should pay more than the cost of the degree - Lawyers because they are a parasite on society!

                      OK, so that last one was a joke - lawyers seem to be a necessary evil so I don't really care what happens to them!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-3...tudent/8530606

                        says the politics and sociology major.......

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It seems to be a belief that is particularly common amongst the students of the arts that the financial assistance provided should be enough for them to live comfortably without needing a job.

                          I see in the article the girl who supposedly has nothing to her name has decided to buy a Macbook Air or similar ($1500) instead of a $300 no-name laptop that would achieve the same tasks.
                          Probably gets around with her brand new iphone on a $100/month plan when a secondhand phone and cheaper plan would get her by also.
                          One shift a week at Maccas sounds more like 'that is the minimum I can work before it starts to interfere with and reduce my centrelink income' that was fairly common when I was at uni (not that long ago)

                          The assistance shouldn't be there to provide all costs whilst people are studying - it should be the absolute minimum required for people to scrape by with a fair bit of sacrifice and discomfort - until they sort themselves out with a job.
                          University isn't a free ride and you aren't automatically entitled to the 'college party experience'.

                          Then don't even get me started over the kids who stick with one shift a week over the 12 week summer break instead of bumping work hours up to 30+ and having some money saved for the next year...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by =Stevo= View Post
                            It seems to be a belief that is particularly common amongst the students of the arts that the financial assistance provided should be enough for them to live comfortably without needing a job.

                            I see in the article the girl who supposedly has nothing to her name has decided to buy a Macbook Air or similar ($1500) instead of a $300 no-name laptop that would achieve the same tasks.
                            Probably gets around with her brand new iphone on a $100/month plan when a secondhand phone and cheaper plan would get her by also.
                            One shift a week at Maccas sounds more like 'that is the minimum I can work before it starts to interfere with and reduce my centrelink income' that was fairly common when I was at uni (not that long ago)

                            The assistance shouldn't be there to provide all costs whilst people are studying - it should be the absolute minimum required for people to scrape by with a fair bit of sacrifice and discomfort - until they sort themselves out with a job.
                            University isn't a free ride and you aren't automatically entitled to the 'college party experience'.

                            Then don't even get me started over the kids who stick with one shift a week over the 12 week summer break instead of bumping work hours up to 30+ and having some money saved for the next year...
                            The MacBook could have been when they were giving out laptops to all school students, as for work there is a f*ckload of people out of work country wide you would be lucky to even get one shift regardless of qualification.
                            "Some people are like clouds. When they disappear it's a beautiful day"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 02keilj View Post
                              Minor point. Im just finishing up my Graduate Diploma to become a High School teacher. Starting salary would be just under 70k. The problem is that is for a full time load teaching position of 5 classes per week. Many jobs vacancies are for 0.6, 0.8 and some as low as 0.4 full time equivalent so you can only expect to get a percentage of the full time salary. This wouldn't be a terrible issue if you were able to get extra work, but the fact that teaching hours will be spread across each day of the week makes it difficult to commit to anything extra. Not only that, but as a graduate we have to build up our portfolio of lessons and can expect to do 1-2 hours planning for every hour of teaching.
                              so let me get this right. 5 lessons at say 1 hour duration = 5 hours a week. 2 hours planning x 5 = 10 hours.

                              10 hours planning + 5 hours teaching = 15 hours work a week....and only 70K a year?

                              Wheres ACA when you need them!

                              Originally posted by sixofthebest View Post
                              I believe subsidisation of university fees should be re-distributed to follow my world view of their value to society:

                              Highly subsidised - Doctors, Dentists, Engineers, Scientists, etc etc - people who have a prospect of innovating and giving back to society
                              No point having engineers in AUS. We don't manufacture SFA so what can they engineer?

                              but taking the idea that it should cost what you can earn, junior footy fees might have to increase a fair bit!

                              Seriously, I believe education should be free. As previously said, no country is worse of by having an educated society.

                              Comment

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