Student welfare expert Dr Peter Tye has warned that the “national crisis” in Australia is “unavoidable”.
Dr Tye, who runs a leading research institute, the Centre for Academic Excellence, said Australian students are increasingly reliant on grants and loans to secure a degree, a trend that is likely to continue as the country’s student population ages.
“Australia’s universities and universities have become increasingly reliant upon a grant-based funding model,” he said.
The National Australia Fund (NAF) gave grants to more than 12,000 Australian students last year.
Mr Tye said the “growing financial insecurity” for many students was “unprecedented”.
“This is the national crisis and the problem we are facing,” he told the ABC.
He said the National Australia Foundation (NAFF) had warned that it could face “financial collapse” by 2028 if the country did not change its funding model.
Australia has more than 2.8 million students enrolled at Australian universities.
In 2016, a report by the University of New South Wales showed more than half of all students at Australian institutions received a financial assistance grant in the previous year.