The increasing costs of higher education

Media Release
  • Minister for Education and Training

As the PBO acknowledges and as official Government figures show, the costs to taxpayers of higher education have, over recent years, grown dramatically.

Since 2009, with the demand driven system, taxpayer funding for Commonwealth supported places in higher education has increased by 59 per cent as compared to 29 per cent growth in nominal GDP over the same period of time. Funding of university students has, essentially, grown at twice the rate of the economy.

This report from the PBO and many others all highlight that there are real sustainability pressures in the higher education budget. Projections show that costs will continue to increase dramatically and the Turnbull Government acknowledges that we must ensure the higher education system is sustainable for all those generations of students yet to come.

The growth in both student debts and taxpayers costs has been exacerbated by policy decisions of the Gillard and Rudd Governments, especially their disastrous expansion of the VET FEE-HELP scheme.

In the face of ballooning costs in higher education that threaten the system’s sustainability for future generations, Labor have buried their head in the sand and refused to face up to the economic reality of the debt and deficit burden they left Australians.

I welcome all ideas from the sector, experts and students on how to make student funding sustainable as we continue to consult widely on higher education reform and redesign Labor's VET FEE-HELP scheme.

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