Medical deans call for 50% funding increase

AUSTRALIA’S medical schools need a 50% increase in federal funding if they are to remain sustainable, medical deans have warned, with universities already too reliant on fee-paying and international students.

In a submission to the Federal Government’s Higher Education Base Funding Review, Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand said Australian base funding – the annual Federal Government contribution for each HECS-paying medical student – had “hardly progressed” in more than a decade, despite a doubling in student numbers.

Government funding was up to four times higher in the UK and Canada and around 50% higher in NZ, the deans said.

The deans’ submission said international student fees, typically over $50,000, were almost double the combined Government and domestic student contribution of $28,622 – of which the Government paid $19,542.

Medical schools were spending almost double their base