By Stuart Mcguckin
Murdoch University’s greater range of undergraduate courses means it’s unlikely it will follow the University of Western Australia’s lead in moving towards a fixed fee structure.
Earlier in the week UWA announced plans to introduce a flat $16,000 yearly fee across all of its undergraduate courses if the Coalition’s tertiary deregulation legislation passes through parliament.
Murdoch Guild President Roland Belford said that while the idea of a flat fee across degrees was not a bad one, he could not see it being successfully implemented at a university like Murdoch.
“I don’t think that’s going to suit Murdoch as well because UWA only has four bachelor degrees,” said Mr Belford.
“Murdoch of course has much more speciality programs like chiropractic, veterinary, teaching and nursing, and even law undergrad which UWA don’t do.”
Back in May both Edith Cowan and Murdoch universities announced they would freeze fees for all students starting undergraduate degrees in 2014.
The move was designed to provide a degree of certainty for new students amid speculation regarding what will happen if deregulation was to pass through federal parliament.
Four months on and the planned deregulation is now before a six member senate committee and a degree of uncertainty still remains for prospective tertiary students around Australia.
Mr Belford believes the uncertainty now seems to be more a question about how rather than when.
“Deregulation is going to go through in some way and what I’m really hoping for, if it does go through, is that there’s a cap,” said Mr Belford.
“That’s what it is in the UK and it should be the noted that the cap in the UK is currently lower than what fees are in Australia.”
The UWA Guild as well as Curtin and Murdoch universities were all contacted for a response, but were not available for comment.