Enrolment share in deregulated higher ed markets

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.

University types:

GO8: ANU, Sydney, UNSW, Melbourne, Monash, Qld,
Adelaide, Western Australia
ATN: UTS, RMIT, QUT, University of SA, Curtin
Gumtrees: Griffith, Macquarie, La Trobe, Flinders, Murdoch
Older regionals: Universities of Newcastle, Wollongong, James Cook,
Charles Darwin, Deakin, New England, Tasmania
New Generation Universities – metro: Western Sydney, Swinburne, Canberra, Edith Cowan,
Australian Catholic, Victoria
New Generation Unis- regional: Southern Queensland, Charles Sturt, Southern Cross,
Ballarat, Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast

2 thoughts on “Enrolment share in deregulated higher ed markets

  1. You missed the last category: New Gen regionals- Southern Queensland, Charles Sturt, Southern Cross, Ballarat, Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast

    Also the original paper misses the Uni of Tas, even though it says “37 public universities”. Did you include it in your analysis?


    • Shem – I’m glad someone is reading, and carefully. My spreadsheet is at home, but I am pretty sure I allocated all unis, and put UTAS in older regionals. Will amend above tonight after checking.


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