With our government in heavy negotiation mode regarding university fee deregulation and the Education Minister Christopher Pyne spruiking his ability to turn recalcitrant ministers onside with his “I fixed it” claim it’s interesting to read that thirty-four of our universities have been included on a list of the top 1000 companies in Australian and New Zealand.
Placed at 206 and topping the list is Melbourne University.
The higher education sector (HES) is a lucrative one indeed with revenues totalling $28.5 billion in 2014 according to IBISWorld. In its annual review of the country’s biggest firms it forecasts revenues to increase up to $36 billion by 2020 based on assumptions that some sort of fee deregulation will pass in parliament.
“(Fee deregulation) is expected to drive up student course costs substantially, particularly at elite universities,” IBISWorld says.
“As a result, industry revenue is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 4.8 per cent over five years to 2019-20, to reach $36.1 billion.”
Speculation around fee increases is rife. The government is determined to push these through no matter what and with the upcoming budget due in little over six weeks they are clamouring over themselves to have the bill passed. Senior Analyst for IBISWorld Lauren Magner suggested that the forecasted growth was based purely on the deregulation bill.
“It’s uncertain how things are going to change for this industry over the next five years,” Ms Magner said. “The figure is $36.1 billion is based on fees being passed by Senate.”
As already stated University of Melbourne heads the list and commands 7.3 per cent of market share. International students contribute 19.5 per cent of their revenue which translates of a 12.2 per cent increase since 2013. This growth is contrary to the rest of the sector which has been suffering from stagnancy for a while.
Interestingly the report notes that Melbourne’s government funding dropped from 37.6 per cent in 1997 to 22.5 per cent in 2013 whilst it predicts that its revenues will increase by 3.7 per cent in 2015 to $2.106 billion.
Great show by Melbourne however its growth is modest compared to University of Queensland which was place 230. This institution of learning has increased its revenue by 7.5 per cent to $1.963 billion in 2015.
Rounding out the top five positions for Australian universities is Monash at 236, Sydney at 237 and University of NSW at 250.