Australia subsidizes a University Education to generate Tax Revenue and Volunteerism

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 11th, 2012

Week in Review

Australian university graduates are not volunteering enough after receiving their subsidized education according to a new study.  Which is one of the reasons they subsidize the high price of a university degree.  Instead of trying to bring those high prices down (see Student subsidy too high: report by Benjamin Preiss posted 8/6/2012 on The Sidney Morning Herald).

THE government should spend less on subsidising university students until graduates can provide a better return for society on the public investment, according to a new study.

Existing fee subsidies were merely redistributing income to students and graduates who would have attended university anyway, according to the report, Graduate Winners, by the independent think tank the Grattan Institute. It suggests the $6 billion the government spends on fee support could be better spent.

The report compares the personal gains for university graduates with their broader contributions to society in areas such as volunteering and paying taxes. Graduates, in most cases, benefit financially from a university degree by getting higher-paid jobs than people with no higher education. But the report found graduates were only slightly more likely to volunteer regularly than people with low-level TAFE qualifications…

If a goal of university subsidies is volunteerism and they’re not seeing a return on that investment why continue the subsidies?  They have the same problem in America.  Liberal college graduates’ idea of volunteerism is raising taxes and donating other people’s money to their favorite causes.  Some leading American liberal politicians even have a sad record of charitable donations.  Because they are never generous with their own money.  They want a larger more caring government to provide for the poor and impoverished masses but they want other people to pay for it.  Yet those who do donate and contribute their time are often conservatives.  Who do this through their churches.  Who work hard and pay their taxes.  And donate their time and money to charitable causes.  A lot of them without a university degree to boot.  Apparently some things transcend international borders.

Mr Norton said the government should cut back its funding and allow universities to increase the price of their degrees. He said the earning capacity for university graduates in most cases outweighed the cost of more expensive degrees.

But Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans said the government would not increase fees for university students.

He said the students would carry an additional $3 billion a year in debt if the government accepted the report’s recommendations. ”The evidence is that dramatic increases in fees lead to decreased participation and higher debt,” Mr Evans said. ”We don’t want a situation where students leave university, join the workforce and have debts that shadow them for many years…”

Here’s something else they share with the Americans.  The high price of a university degree.  Which the answer is the same everywhere in the world apparently.  Subsidize education.  But they never try to reduce the high prices of education.  In fact, higher education is the one area that they never criticize for its high prices.  Unlike health care.  Prescription drugs.  Gasoline.  You name it.  When it’s the private sector pursuing profits liberals everywhere demonize these seekers of profit.  But when it’s liberal universities pursuing profits so they can provide higher pay and benefit packages to their professors, administrators and campus workers what do you hear from liberals about these seekers of profits?  Just a whole lot of quiet interrupted by the sounds of crickets chirping.  Then the attacks on ‘greedy’ taxpayers who oppose higher taxes to subsidize the generous pay and benefit packages of said university employees.  Which is what gives those students “debts that shadow them for many years.”

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