Essays in Education


Instead of a direct transfer of public funds from government to higher education institutes, a student-centred funding method termed education voucher system is used. The core idea of a voucher system is that the public funding for tuition is being driven by student choice. This change of path of funding has two significant effects, students now have choices and institutes now have to compete for students.

The survey results show that both supply- and demand-side agree that: a voucher system would give students more choice; achieve equal right of choice in education; unpopular programmes and unpopular institutes might be axed; top-up tuition fees should be introduced; staff spending more efforts in productive activities might affect education quality; private institutes should have equal right of getting public funds; student choice might stimulate student interest, participation, enthusiasm and dedication for his/her studies; student should compete for limited and only the best students should be given vouchers; competition for voucher might increase incentives to improve education quality; institutes might respond better to students’ demand and labour demands; voucher might also lead to ultimate use of public funds; institutes might have more autonomy under voucher system and autonomy might bring benefit to higher education; however education quality might not be maintained without government’s performance indicators as a control measurement; students and the Government would benefit from a voucher system.

However, both the supply- and demand-side do not agree with the government proponents of a voucher system that it should be introduced soon but rather they prefer to wait until other countries have tried such a system. Moreover, they do not agree that the government provide higher education purely based on student preference as it might lead to over- or under-supply of certain skills.

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