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Norton, A. Graduate winners: Assessing the public and private benefits of higher education. Grattan Institute, Carlton, 2012. Pages: 96.
Published at the beginning of August, this report discusses the models and logic of different higher education funding options in the context of Australian higher education. Its author argues that instead of providing subsidies from the public purse, the government should adapt the current approach based on the “public benefit” model and decrease its direct contribution.
Following this logic, the author portrays graduates as “winners” who have good jobs and earn significant salaries thanks to a funding system that redistributes public money in their favour. However, in the majority of the cases the investment into their education leverages only a small public benefit effect and thus could be used in areas more beneficial for the whole society. Norton proposes a fluctuating model with an evolutionary decrease in government subsidies stating that there is no evidence that higher fees deter students from pursuing higher education. In the author’s view, students fully recognise the great benefits of higher education that in the current system strongly outweigh the costs for most students.Grattan Institute