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ERIC Number: ED536026
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Demand for Higher Education, by Field. Policy Note. Number 5
Group of Eight (NJ1)
Over the period 2001-2011, the number of applications for university places increased by 17.8%, or just over 37,000. At the same time, the number of offers increased faster in percentage terms (20.5%), while absolute growth was slightly smaller at just under 35,000. As demand for higher education has grown, there has been a trend towards Science, Engineering and especially Health disciplines. These are among the most expensive fields to teach. The shift towards more expensive fields, on top of bigger than expected growth across all fields, increases the potential cost of a demand-driven system. In a demand-driven funding system, universities have less scope to cross-subsidise more expensive (as well as less popular) courses. Current base funding rates are less than the cost of delivery in all disciplines, with the biggest shortfalls in more expensive fields. Without changes to funding, universities will have limited capacity and incentives to offer enough places in the fields that students want. The fundamental contradiction is that volume has been deregulated but price remains fixed. (Contains 2 figures, 3 tables, and 5 footnotes.)
Group of Eight Limited. Level 2, 101 Northbourne Avenue, Turner, 2612, PO Box 6229, O'Connor, 2602, ACT Australia. Tel: +61-2-6239-5488; Fax: +61-2-6239-5808; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Group of Eight (Australia)
Identifiers - Location: Australia