How many University's would you expect to exist in Australia?
The answer is 40 University's exist in Australia and there are a further 74 Institutes of Further Education. That is 114 places you can study after you leave Secondary Education. In a country with a population of 23 million. There are 800,000 Domestic students and 230,000 Onshore International students meaning that out of every 100 people in Australia, 4 are post Secondary students. And that 4% gets changed every 3 or so years, so the amount of people with degrees continues to rise. Currently around 1/4 of Australians have a degree and the last Government wanted that to go to 40%, it is unclear what the new Government wants.
3/4 of all Secondary students finish year 12, the last year of Secondary education. For decades we have heard the mantra that we need Immigration as there are jobs Australians won't do. Of course the more education a person has done the less they feel they should do menial or boring jobs.
That would all be great if it wasn't for unemployment and underemployment. The truth is that there has been a mania to get people into more training, more education. The education industry is very keen to let everyone know how important education is. Well education is important but it's not universally important. There are many jobs that do not need a University education. Of course the education industry is not happy with that, they believe that education is it's own reward.
Instead of University's and schools being rewarded for success and punished for failing they are rewarded for getting more students. Economically it is unsustainable as it will constantly be a case of rewarding more and more, there is no limit to more and more. There is a total disconnect between what we need from education and what we are being provided with. I am not talking about only providing vocational education but about all types of education. Everyone should have an education, it is the amount of education that differs. Not everyone needs more education and if they do they can go back to study but the current system pushes students to continue into further education whether they need it or not.
Universities and other Institutions of Further Education as well as Secondary schools should be helping students to get jobs. Those jobs should be in the field in which they studied, so people who study Engineering should become Engineers and so on and so forth. Of course not everyone will want to work in the field they studied or health problems or even death prevent others. But they are exceptions and in most cases study is done so that that a person can work in a particular field.
In Australia Universities are mostly funded by the Government via the Taxpayer. So I propose that when a graduate gets a full time job in their field their place be funded 200%. When a graduate gets a full time job not in their field or a part time job in their field their place should be funded 100%. When a graduate gets a part time job outside of their field then their place is funded 50% and when a graduate is unemployed then their place should not be funded. This should also be spaced out over a decade with 1/4 of the payments made at 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and finally 10 years after graduation.
Graduates should have careers and not simply jobs and this would reward those Institutions that did the right thing and provided the right courses. Those Institutions that provided junk courses would be punished, as they should be. Education is not it's own reward, it has an important function to perform. But the tail should not be wagging the dog and it seems to me that that is how the system currently works.
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