Parkville Station

Q&A: Course costs

During semester 2, Parkville Station will take a questions asked by readers (including you), find someone who can give us a solid answer, and publish it.

You can ask a question by:

This week’s question:

Matt asks:
Why do courses cost so much?

We asked Elizabeth Capp, Director (Students and Equity) to give us an answer:

Course fees reflect the many different costs incurred with delivering teaching and associated activities in a large and diverse range of disciplines. As the University’s Student Fees and Charges Policy (MPF1303) outlines, they are set in compliance with government requirements and in support of the University’s strategic and financial priorities.

A number of factors need to be taken into account when course fees are being worked out. The most obvious of these is the level of government contribution (or not) to the costs of course delivery, and whether this is sufficient to meet those costs. Others include but are not confined to:

  • The costs of delivering the course. Salaries of academic, administrative and technical staff involved in delivering subjects; provision of teaching facilities, equipment and materials; LMS resources, libraries, study spaces; keeping the lights on and the doors open every day – power, heating and cooling; and so on
  • Associated costs such as marketing and recruitment; enrolment, timetabling, assessment and graduation services; programs and services which enhance students’ experience and support academic success
  • Allowance for known and anticipated cost increases eg CPI indexation
  • Government and legislative requirements and any limitations imposed by these
  • Investment in research which informs and supports excellence in teaching, as well as driving the University’s reputation for excellence and consequent ability to attract the best students and staff from all over the world.

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