MORE FEES AT THE HEART, The Age (30 April 2011)

MORE FEES AT THE HEART, The Age (30 April 2011)

Peter van Onselen's argument that professional degrees be moved to postgraduate level is flawed (''Monash dean slams Melbourne University model, The Age, 29/4).

If developing young minds is the true concern, all students could be required to spend a year traveling, working or doing voluntary work before commencing university. This will also teach them what being ''responsible'' means far better than years spent at university ever can.

In an era where information is so freely available, universities are making a mistake in lengthening the courses when in fact they should be shortening them. The reason universities are moving towards graduate entry is to increase their income.

Universities can increase their income by approximately 60 per cent by keeping students longer and by being able to charge full fees.

The often-made claim that marks in the first degree, rather than the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, better predict performance in professional degrees is self-serving. The question to ask is which offers a better correlation to success in professional life. Anecdotal evidence suggests the ATAR is the better predictor. It is hypocritical for universities to claim otherwise, yet offer guaranteed admission into professional courses to the ''best and the brightest'' based on ATAR.