In a report published by The Australian, University of Sydney vice-chancellor Dr Michael Spence has said that the government should consider withdrawing health disciplines from the demand-driven system in higher education. However, education minister Christopher Pyne hasn’t said that this is under consideration (for courses other than medicine, which is capped due to a limited number of positions for junior doctors following medical school).
Here is the situation as it stands due to the number of health students enrolling in Australian universities:
• 170, 000 students per year require clinical placements in a limited pool of health care facilities
• The cost of supporting health-related degrees and an increase enrolment in these courses puts pressure on both health system and university budgets
• Nursing and nursing students account for two thirds of all hours of clinical placement
• There was a 25% increase in the number of students taking health industry courses between 2009 and 2013 (since the removal of caps on undergraduate enrollment by the government)