With the supply of Commonwealth-supported places to be largely deregulated from next year for public universities, there is considerable anxiety at some institutions about how this will turn out. My theory is that a market without price signals will be bad for lower-prestige universities. But what about markets with price signals? The 2010 enrolment data can give us some guidance.
For domestic fee-paying students (mostly postgraduate coursework students), three university types have greater market share than they do for CSPs: the Group of Eight, the Australian Technology Network Universities, and the New Generation Regional Universities (groupings defined below, taken from the categorisations in this paper). Charles Sturt is very strong in postgraduates, helping to explain the strong showing of that group.
For international students, the Group of Eight and the ATN again have market share exceeding their CSP market share, with the New Generation Regionals having about the same share of internationals as CSPs. This is largely due to the entrepreneurial activities of Central Queensland University and the University of Ballarat, which are both highly competitive on price and recognising that students will not come to them, go to the students.
Clearly the Group of Eight and the ATN start in strong positions. But only two universities have less than 10% of their students from overseas, and there is lots of variation within broad university types. Mission and management can make a big difference.
Read More »