Uncertainty surrounding the Australian Government moves to increase fee levels for tertiary students has created additional anxiety for high school graduates aspiring for higher education. However, regardless of changes, tertiary education remains a good investment for the future.
University of Sydney vice-chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, is urging students to look beyond the current situation and understand the benefits that higher education provides. “University is an essential stepping stone to career success, not only because it prepares you for your first job, but because it also teaches you how to think critically…you will draw on your experience at university throughout your whole career,” Dr Spence said.
Choosing a course that suits you
University presents opportunities to associate with some of the world’s greatest thinkers and achievers. It is also a place to meet kindred spirits and meet people who share similar passions and interests. Dr Spence also encourages students to follow their heart when choosing a course of study.
“Choosing a degree based on what your friends are doing, what your parents want, or that matches your high ATAR is a recipe for disaster…enrol in a degree that really interests you,” he said.
Dr Spence is optimistic regarding the future of Sydney University, despite disappointment with government failings and inaction in dealing with university funding and fee payment issues. He believes higher education is under-resourced and weighed down by a funding model that is unsustainable. The situation is a double-edged sword, as the popularity of Australian universities with both local and overseas students has led to a huge increase in student numbers.
Dr Spence advocates fee deregulation for a number of reasons
- improved education outcomes
- better research capabilities
- access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds
- lower student debt
Dr Spence hopes for an end to uncertainty in 2015, and the provision of a bright future for all students.
“In any case, I want to reassure future students and their families. In the face of this funding uncertainty and political farce, one thing remains clear: education is at the heart of the University of Sydney, and regardless of how we are funded, we remain committed to providing a world-class education for Australia’s most promising students,” he said.