Access to degrees but no real employment

Access to degrees but no real employment

Students are demanding university leaders to rethink the structure of student fees and entrance.They believe it is overly complicated and widely outdated. Different courses are set with too high of a fee and others are significantly lower.


Many universities are guilty of over supplying graduates from different types of degrees despite their ATARs or due to a low demand for the field. Vocational study such as TAFE or college has also decreased in numbers as many prefer going to university for the easier lifestyle and delay in paying upfront fees. Now, 40% of Australians under the age of 35 hold an undergraduate degree but are not employed in their field. Many of us know law students who work nearly full time as a barista or bartender.

This has also created some distress for job seekers who do not have a degree, as they are being turned down for jobs that would previously seek a TAFE certificate or less.

Group of Eight CEO, Vicki Thomson quoted an article from The Australian saying there were 80,000 graduates with a teaching degree from the University of Melbourne and only 7,000 full time jobs up for offer.

Ms Thomson also stated that students have not ‘wasted’ their time studying as they now have the most valuable skills such as problem solving, project management, and analytical thinking.

Recently, Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt of Australia National University wants to change the entrance path to his university as not solely basing it on an ATAR. He says they will now look at co-curricular achievements and community contributions when assessing their applications. These changes will be set in place later in the year of 2018.


Student debt from university HELP is estimated at $200 billion in 2024-25, something which is unsustainable. However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has planned to allow universities to plan their own course fees. Universities may also see their funding cut by 20% from the government.

Under the current system, law and accounting students are paying $10,440 a year, whilst communication and teaching students pay just over $6,000 a year.

In 2007, mining engineering graduates who were seeking full-time employment were picked up by 2013, this has now dropped by over 20%. Geology students who were seeking employment in 2012, were employed quite quickly, but the rate has now fallen from 84% to 57%.