Fellow-student funded overseas holidays: the latest anti-VSU argument

As we saw in the case of Joy Kyriacou a couple of weeks ago, there are people whose sense of entitlement to the earnings of others is completely shameless. Ms Kyriacou, as readers may recall, thinks that her fellow Australians shoud pay higher taxes so that she does not have to postpone her first overseas holiday while repaying her HECS debt.

This morning The Age brings us La Trobe University sports manager John Dumaresq, who in a criticism of voluntary student unionism that looks more like a defence to me, explains why it is harder than before VSU to get members of the women’s football team to go to interstate matches:

“Students think, well, I can spend a week on the Gold Coast or I can work and at the end of the year with $700 [the cost of the Gold Coast footy trip] I can go to Thailand or Vietnam for an overseas trip.

They have to weigh it up, but in the past they might have done both because it was subsidised,” Mr Dumaresq said.

So on Mr Dumaresq’s view, other students – who if we believe NUS are poverty-stricken – should pay higher charges so that women footballers can go to the Gold Coast and on an Asian holiday.

I do not support price control, and therefore I cannot support that aspect of the VSU legislation. But as I have always conceded, the previous system was riddled with inequities and inefficiencies. The forced unbundling was useful shock therapy in clearing these away.

When the system is deregulated, universities will presumably think carefully before including the cost of too many student junkets in their price structure.