The article detailed the Government's HELP loans program where students may secure additional loans for their university studies and tuition. Right now, it is more than $23 billion as student loans. (www.news.com.au)
1,567,100 students held an outstanding balance as at 30 June 2011, which was an increase of more than 100,000 on the year before. Now the government has removed caps on the number of government-funded places universities can offer as part of a policy to increase the number of young people with a bachelor's degree.
Moreover, it has also abolished the student learning entitlement, which limited a person's eligibility to study at university as a government-funded student to seven years full-time study.
The message has been received loud and clear by young people such as evidenced by university student Kira Duroux. For a good paying job, a degree is imperative.
More to the point, working parents of a past generation recognise that some kind of post high school certificate provides the where-with-all for a good paying job. TAFE is a case in point as are the various Trades. The old adage has an uncommon truth for their generation, that the economy is bad when doctors and plumbers start going broke.
This is only part of the story. Entrepreneurs and higher education have an unsettled relationship. Many of the entrepreneurs themselves have never had such a desire or seen a need for certificates of any kind, but realise the people within their enterprisers with these "qualifications" have helped make the entrepreneur very wealthy.
Even today, innumerable senior executives of major corporations are "without such tertiary certificate" as the criteria at that level is not your degree level but rather your credential in business.
But this not only applies to high profile executives, many much smaller businesses and companies were initiated by such entrepreneurial types and in the IT field they are common place. The nation needs such entrepreneurs as much as it does those with degrees. The two things provide very different applications to the work place.
But there is a third group for which degrees and higher learning are essential. The academic world is one, rocket science and physics, medical, biology and the rest of the sciences along with educational pursuits, all require high levels of accomplishments.
Similarly, there are different levels in Christian ministry training. This is tenant of belief that the more training a Minister has the better equipped for ministry, but like in the business world, this is far from the truth.
Again, it is horses for courses, and sometimes the Holy Spirit provides an anointing upon someone where certificates have come to the wrong address. But to say this is the norm would be far from the reality.
There is a growing application, especially now with theology distance learning recently being approved at degree level, that any pastor or minister who hangs out their shingle without appropriate recognition might be deemed to be on thin ice.
It is more so pertinent in today's world of litigation where even 'pastoral advice' is serious business. Herein, sadly lies the pertinent issue.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html