Why university fee deregulation will leave us worse off

The deregulation of tertiary education fees will disadvantage lower-income earners, and the effects will flow right through the economy.

Earlier this week the University of Western Australia shed some light on what students can expect from university fee deregulation, and the numbers are far from pretty. Basic three-year degrees are set to jump to $48,000, and specialised degrees in medicine and law could reach six figures.

But have politicians disregarded the long-term effects of such a change? Fee deregulation will have considerable and undesirable effects for not only university enrolment but also household spending, investment and property prices.

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