Higher education could be funded in three ways. All costs paid by government, all costs paid by students or students paying all costs through a government loan. What are the advantages of these choices?
Since university funding benefits both university students and society as a whole, both parties should bear some of the cost of university educations. University students gain both personal and economic benefits by attending university; however, society also benefits by having a more educated population. In addition, it is important that all members of society have the opportunity to attend university regardless of wealth. In this essay the various models of funding for university places will be discussed. There is little doubt that people who attend university usually benefit through higher salaries and greater opportunities. It is therefore reasonable that society expects students to make some contribution to the cost of their education. However, expecting students to fully fund their own education may cause students to avoid courses that lead to less well-paying jobs such as the sciences, nursing and teaching. Society as a whole also benefits from having a more educated community and should support people who make an effort to become educated. It is therefore reasonable that governments also provide money for university places, particularly when the cost of doing a course or the return for students discourages them from completing a course that is needed by society. The funding model that is used for university placements is also very important as governments have a responsibility to provide an opportunity for all members of society to attend university. Deferred repayment of fees through low cost loans and the partial subsidising of university courses by government are effective methods of ensuring fairer access to university education since they allow people to pay for their education when they are best able to afford to. In summary, university education benefits both individuals and society and both governments and individuals who receive a university education should make a contribution to the costs of tertiary education. In addition, it is important that appropriate loan schemes are in place to ensure that access to university is available to all members of society.