USC Student Guild president Sam Burke is concerned Federal Government plans to open universities to the free market will financially cripple students.
"Deregulation will have disastrous effects for all university students," Mr Burke said.
Currently studying a dual degree at USC, Mr Burke feared courses could be slashed as the university tried to spare students an inflated financial burden.
"I think that's a definite risk at a lot of universities, that it (degrees being cut) might happen," he said.
"I think you'll see a significant drop in further study."
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the difficulty for the institution lay in finding a balance between students' interests and ensuring the university remained economically viable.
"They've (Federal Government) reduced government funding for different courses by wildly different amounts," Prof Hill said.
Should the price of tertiary education be raised?
This poll ended on 16 August 2015.
No. We want a smarter country, this makes no sense.
Sure we need a different funding model, but this is silly.
Uni costs money. The free ride of past generations is over.
Too many people have uni degrees. Price them out.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
In his blog on the university website, Prof Hill noted that in 2016, it was estimated USC would lose about $12 million in Commonwealth funding, a 20% cut.
Prof Hill said the university was already about $6 million behind expected Federal funding this year alone.
On the surface, a rise of $1000 to $2000 per year for all students could cover the deficit, but Prof Hill said it was not that simple, as the 20% funding cut had been applied disproportionately to different courses.
"For example, come 2016, science and engineering funding will be reduced by around $5200 per student. Do universities pass this directly on to students and ask them to pay $14,200 per year (at 2016 prices)?" Prof Hill asked on his blog.
He said it wasn't necessarily the increased fees, rather the way in which they would be paid, and increased interest rates on loans, which presented the biggest problem.
"The fees aren't the major worry... it's how long it will take to pay back and whether students will be hit with cumulative interest or not," Prof Hill said.
- Under Fed Govt proposals, USC funding will be cut by 20% in 2016
- Equates to an estimated $12 million in lost funding in 2016
- Prof Hill said science and engineering funding will be reduced by about $5,200 per student in 2016
How to get involved?
- USC Student Guild currently has about 25 students heading to Brisbane's Queens Park on Aug 20 to take part in National Student Union protest against Fed Govt proposals
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