Jarod Alper and others at the Australian National University have created a "University Degree Comparison Calculator", to allow the cost of a university degree under current legislation to be compared with that proposed. The assumptions used in the calculations can be changed. What will be most informative for users is the graph showing the large proportion which interest makes of a student loan repayment. Perhaps this should by included in the Government's MyUniversity website.
One thing the authors of the calculator might like to do is extend the calculation to shorter qualifications: Certificate (six months) and Diploma (one year). Students might be better off starting with a much shorter (and cheaper) qualification, just enough to get the into a industry and then study for a degree part-time. Many young students have little idea of what they want to do and so it would be better to invest six months or a year of their time and money in studying in a filed, rather than three or four years, before finding out if it is what they want to do. Also I find student who have work experience are much more motivated, ready to learn and easier to teach. It may even be possible to offer such students lower course fees, as it will take less resources to teach them (and they can even help teach the beginners).
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