Over the last 15 years, the proportion of university funding spent on research has risen to 63 per cent, new figures indicate.
A study by Professor Lawrence Cram, deputy vice-chancellor of Australian National University, revealed that the total amount has doubled during this period, reports the Australian.
He questioned the legitimacy of asking attendees at the educational facilities – who may be struggling with their student finances – to pay higher fees in light of this.
Professor Cram suggested that it may be "timely and prudent" for universities to consider this issue, observing that it may be unfair to levy higher fees and request more funds from the government for educational purposes "while expending the revenue on the growth of research activity".
His investigation into the issue found that 28 out of 36 universities could be categorised as "research-intensive" as more than half of their funding went to this area.
This comes after the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the government is considering changes to the student loans system to reduce the financial burdens felt by those attending university.