This is the first of a series of posts looking at the conceptual and philosophical issues underlying debates about student contributions since the late 1980s.
The series is prompted by Dan Tehan’s proposed changes to student charges, but not limited to them.
This first post looks at the student contribution’s relationship to overall public funding, and whether it is intended to offset total government expenditure on higher education, or the cost of the student’s own course.
Course cost student contributions have been considered, but not implemented
The Whitlam experiment with free higher education ended in the late 1980s because the Hawke government wasn’t willing to pay the full cost of expanding enrolments. But then and since people have disagreed about whether students should contribute to their own costs or more broadly to the system’s costs.Read More »