OPINION: Free Tuition is Easily Affordable


Both the state and universities are responsible for the dramatic increase in fees over the last decade, though each likes to blame the other. Between 2006 and 2012, the state’s contribution to the total funding of higher education remained roughly stag­nant, at about 40 per cent – yet between 2010 and 2012 tuition fees increased by 27 per cent, whereas student enrolment only increased by 7 per cent. Vice-chancellors suggested that this shift was because of a falling per-capita state subsidy, but this is inaccurate: the per-capita subsidy fell relative to fees precisely because fees were rising so quickly.