The NTEU says there are three enrolment strategies to deal with whatever follows the funding freeze on student places. None are good
When the government abandoned demand driven funding of undergraduate places in December 2017 it capped Commonwealth Grant Scheme places in 2018-19 at 2017 levels. When growth funding starts next year it will be based on 18-64-year-old population increase, with extra places allocated on the basis of as yet unannounced metrics. But if population growth is lower than inflation the value of funding will decline. The National Tertiary Education Union estimates that funding per CSP is already well down, $11 100 last year compared to $11 575 in 2011.
A paper from the union argues universities have three enrolment options through to 2022;
* increase enrolments in-line with population growth to maintain the participation rate: this would mean public funding per student would decline to $10 057 in 2022
* maintain the value of funding per student: this would lead to fewer places, meaning unmet demand will be back
* holding CSP at 2018 levels: this will exclude prospective students while not improving funding per place.