Opinion: Trickle up: only the elite will benefit from fee deregulation

August 20, 2014

Murdoch University’s Dr Janice Dudley questions Professor Ian Young’s recent announcement that fee deregulation will have a positive effect on universities in her piece in The Conversation.

Professor Young is the Chair of the Group of Eight Universities that will look at opportunities to ‘downsize’ to teach fewer students while increasing the amount spent on each student. As they enrol fewer students, those who might otherwise have enrolled or aspired to a Group of Eight university will be available to ‘lower tier’ institutions and we will have a system in which everybody wins.

Dr Dudley argues that rather than distributing wealth and opportunity across the community, the ‘trickle-down or flow across effect’ will merely serve to concentrate wealth and opportunity in the already privileged segments of society and is thus regressive rather than progressive, leading to a hierarchy of institutions. Dr Dudley sees this new hierarchy of institutions as benefiting some more than others, as is the very nature of competition. There will be winners and losers.

Read more in Dr Dudley’s piece.

Janice Dudley is the Associate Dean Teaching and Learning in the School of Management and Governance and is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Studies.

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Media contact: Natalie Hailes-Phakos
Tel:   |  Mobile:   |  Email: N.Hailes-Phakos@murdoch.edu.au
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