Are we headed for a big jump in uni unmet demand?

On Monday, the AFR reported that several state university admissions centres were reporting big increases in applications for next year: 12% up in WA, 11% up in Queensland, 7% in Tasmania. There were smaller increases of 2% in NSW/ACT and 4% in SA. Victoria is yet to report numbers. Possibly a weak labour market for young adults is making education more attractive.

Due to new rules for Youth Allowance eligibility from next January, more people offered a university place are likely to seek university admission in 2010 rather than defer. More students will be able to get YA via the parental income test and not need to take a gap year to get ‘independence’ from their parents, and it will be harder (though not impossible) for students from upper-income families to take an ‘independence’ gap year and then go on welfare.

So demand for places in 2010 is, on the evidence of the early applications data, and on the theory of lower deferments, likely to be well up on 2009.

Will there be places for these additional university hopefuls, or will many of them end up in the ‘unmet demand’ statistics? Continue reading “Are we headed for a big jump in uni unmet demand?”

Educational Standards Institute

In the Des Moore model of one-man think-tanks, Kevin Donnelly has established the Educational Standards Insitute.

I’ve had my disagreements with Kevin in the past, since the conservative ‘standards’ approach easily turns into top-down bureaucratic control of schools. The Coalition-backed national curriculum is an example of how this line of thinking ends in what is likely to be a policy disaster in the long term.

Still, Kevin has had many sensible things to say about the unhappy results of ‘progressive’ education, and I wish this new think-tank well.