The cost of an Australian teaching degree is rising faster than the cost of other university degrees, according to new research.
The latest figures show that the cost to students for an Australian degree increased by an average of 3.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016, and the cost has remained relatively stable for the past decade.
The number of teaching degrees offered has risen by 5 per cent, with more than 1.4 million graduates currently in the teaching industry.
However, the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences said in a statement the cost per degree remained relatively low, at about $40,000, compared to $75,000 for a university degree.
“This is the second year in a row we have seen higher increases in the cost compared to the previous year, with the majority of increases coming from the private sector,” Professor Chris Wilson said.
“In the past five years, our industry has experienced a significant growth in enrolments and enrolment increases in teaching and research positions.”
Professor Wilson said the increase in enrolment was due to “increasing competition in tertiary education”.
“As demand increases, it is more and more important for universities to maintain their level of investment and to offer good quality teaching and scholarship opportunities,” he said.
Prof Wilson said universities would need to look to the next decade to see how much growth was possible.
“The growth of the teaching and education sector is projected to increase by about 20 per cent in the next five years,” he added.
Professor Ian Glynn from the University and Dean of the School of Economics at the University’s Business School said the industry would be best served if it developed more “career paths” for teaching. “
We want to ensure our students are educated at the right place, at the best value.”
Professor Ian Glynn from the University and Dean of the School of Economics at the University’s Business School said the industry would be best served if it developed more “career paths” for teaching.
“While there are many pathways for students to work in a teaching role, the best way to achieve the maximum potential is to develop a career path that allows for the best opportunities for graduates,” he explained.
“If we want to retain talented teaching and development professionals, then we need to encourage career paths that will support students and the employers they are working with.”
Dr Gillian Jones, from the School’s Faculty in the School and School of Public Health, said there was a growing recognition of the value of teaching and the importance of supporting people in their work.
“A lot of the teachers we work with are very dedicated, caring people,” she said.
“But the biggest challenge is how do you find those people to do the teaching?”
The key is for them to find the right mentors and the right role models to support their work.
“Teaching at the moment is the biggest source of job opportunities for young people and graduates in the economy.
It’s not only a question of the cost, it’s also a question about the quality of the job and how you do it, especially in the short term,” she explained.