Those planning to apply for university could have a major fight for places on their hands, with institutions bracing for an unprecedented surge in applications.
Those planning to apply for university could have a major fight for places on their hands, with institutions bracing for an unprecedented surge in applications.

Uni applicants face major battle for places

Queensland universities are bracing for an unprecedented surge in applications, but they won't be able to accommodate more students with some institutions already hitting the cap on places.

The Federal Government in June announced it would create an additional 39,000 places by 2023 and 100,000 by 2030 for Australian students by overhauling the fee structure, but the legislation would need to be passed through the Senate.

Griffith University Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Henly said applications for Trimester 2 had soared by 50 per cent, and anticipates interest in studying in 2021 would continue.

"Like all universities, domestic undergraduate and some postgraduate student numbers are subject to an allocation of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) which is capped, however we have also introduced a range of attractive programs for full fee paying postgraduate students and certificate level courses," she said.

Central Queensland University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp said there was a 52 per cent surge in enrolments for Term 2 this year but is already "well over" the government imposed cap on domestic undergraduate students.

A University of Queensland spokeswoman said there had been an approximate 18 per cent increase in Semester Two offers to domestic undergraduate students, and expects the demand for study in 2021 may "outstrip supply".

 

Applications for Trimester 2 at Griffith University have soared by 50 per cent.
Applications for Trimester 2 at Griffith University have soared by 50 per cent.

 

"The Government's intent to increase domestic student enrolments is something UQ supports," a spokeswoman said.

Education Minister Dan Tehan said the government was creating more places for Australian students in recognition of the increased demand caused by the COVID-19 recession.

Under the proposed fee overhaul, students will pay less for some courses including teaching, nursing, psychology, English, maths, science, IT and engineering while humanities, Law and Commerce students would pay more.

The proposed fee hikes have attracted criticism about increasing the financial burden on students, and that the restructure could mean a net decrease in income for some Universities overall.

National Tertiary Education Union Queensland Secretary Michael McNally said the Federal Government could lift the cap on domestic students "tomorrow if they wanted to" meaning universities could be funded to meet the surging demand.

"I think it's quite likely that Universities will take on these enrolments even though they're not going to get money for them this year, so that they get money for them next year, that's how desperate universities are," Mr McNally said.

Originally published as Uni applicants face major battle for places


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