Should Higher Education Be Free?

There has been an important debate going around many student circles lately: should higher education be free?

It’s a very important question, and many are wondering why it is even a question, or even why it’s only being asked now. On a poll that we ran on our community website last month, we asked forum members to vote and post their thoughts. Many insisted that higher education, such as university and TAFE courses, should indeed be free to students. The reasoning was that since higher education is taken to gain skills necessary for a career, the Government should place value and investment in making higher education free so as to help pave the way for millions of people who want to get jobs. It will make things easier for families who have always struggled with sending their children to school, especially if their children want to pursue an expensive field of study. And it will certainly encourage young people to attend university rather than settling for a minimum-wage job straight out of high school.

Some, however, have disagreed, saying that it should be the reverse— primary and high school education should be made free by the Government, as that is where a child’s formative education takes place and allowing parents to save up for their child to attend higher education in other countries or states. Other say that making higher education free for students will result in them finding it easy to drop out, change courses all too often, or not take their studies seriously after a while.

While nothing is resolved yet, it was valuable for us to understand where our community stands, and we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on things that will affect the nature of this debate.