Raising student fees 'could be a viable option'

The federal government may be able to raise university fee contributions without damaging the higher education sector at large, an expert has argued.

Andrew Norton, a research fellow with the Centre for Independent Studies, noted that following the election, the key issue of the funding rate per student remains unresolved.

"Student numbers are already increasing rapidly ahead of the full deregulation of public university student numbers in 2012," he wrote for the Australian.

"And if overseas student enrolments decline significantly, some universities may need bailing out."

Mr Norton claimed that increasing student contributions could be a viable solution to the problem, particularly after a study by Australian Bureau of Statistics researcher Hui Wei found that on average, Australian graduates have continually gotten a good return on their investment in higher education, regardless of fee hikes over the years.

Changes to university funding under the newly formed government could lead more young Aussies to compare student banking in search of the best options. Last week, the Newcastle Herald reported that the University of Newcastle may need to attract another 7,000 students by 2022 if it is to achieve its funding targets.

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