A new Universities Australia lobbying document released today (The Australian‘s report is here) contains some not previously publicly released information on university costs, based on information from six universities. The data is presented in a slightly confusing way, as UA have made the assumption that 25% of Commonwealth subsidies paid on a per student basis is for research, creating separate funding ‘gaps’ for teaching and research.
However, what it shows (if you get your calculator out) is that teaching-driven Commonwealth funding of $16,068 per average EFTSL and teaching-driven expenses of $16,151 per average EFTSL are pretty much in alignment. This helps explain why so many universities are significantly ‘over-enrolled’ – once the demand-driven funding system is fully operational they expect to at least break-even by avoiding research costs.
The funding ‘gap’ varies significantly between fields of study: