Increase university places at no extra cost?

Did anyone see the report the other day that a study by the Centre for Independent Studies found that university places in Australia could be increased by 80,000 at no extra cost? What? How is that possible? It turns out that the cost savings could be made by removing doubling up in taxpayer supported placements. Double degrees etc. Now, ask yourself this: would removing doubling up in taxpayer support to create savings such that 80,000 extra students could enter university be a good thing?


It would be a terrible thing!

Overall, costs would remain unchanged but student numbers would increase. Now, would those students increase the average intelligence of the student body? Nope. They would decrease it. The smart ones are already there. Allegedly. Plus, those new students would not be undertaking value adding work in the economy. So, we’d get worse students on average, less economic output and no reduction in costs. That would not be a good outcome.

The CIS is onto something by identifying the doubling up of student support from the taxpayer. But here’s my advice to the CIS: cut out the waste and then stop. That would be positive. But don’t identify waste and then decide to waste it even further.