From the Budget Papers:
For students enrolled on or before 13 May 2014, existing arrangements will be grandfathered and remain in place until the end of 2020.
Current students are not affected by the Budget measures (are they really budget measures and should they have been included in the budget?) announced last week. So imagine my surprise when I saw this headline in the Australian.
Deakin to wear fee hike pain for students
Sounds a bit strange – exams start soon and the current cohort of students would have enrolled before the census date (end March).
What is happening is that Deakin is capitalising on student anger (and ignorance) to grab some market share – effectively by dropping prices for students starting next semester.
Deakin is more exposed to the timing of the changes than other universities as it operates on trimesters and the budget was announced in the middle of enrolments for its second trimester. Its decision means that come 2016, the university won’t charge higher deregulated fees for any of the 2014 cohort even though the government will be cutting per student funding by 20 per cent.
So Deakin has started enrollments for next semester – the cohort that the government fully intends to be impacted by the university reforms come 2016 – and Deakin has responded by freezing its current fees for that group.
Surely this is precisely the outcome the government wanted – universities taking control of their own pricing decisions and making decisions that best suit their own interests and that of their students.