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Social Policy Analysis

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Social Policy Analysis



Social Policy Analysis

Policy Position

        The presented analysis focuses on free education as the policy position. Pitman and Forsyth (2014) provides an argument that Germany seeks to do away with tuition fee with an aim of making higher education more affordable for its citizens. The presented factor provides an indication into the benefits associated with free education as a social policy. Free education encourages more people to enrol in institutions of learning. The same could happen in Australia which increases the potential of having education accessible to all people in the region. Therefore, embracing the same concept in Australia could come in handy in promoting the accessibility of the learning resources for all the members of the community.

        Australia’s current policy on higher education is not free in that learners are required to cater for their tuition fees before attending classes (Anagnostopoulos, Lingard & Sellar, 2016). Additionally, a HEC debt system is put in place to provide learners with a loan focused on covering their tuition costs. The higher education learning in Australia is not free unlike in the case of Germany. The policy goal is to ensure that children who find it difficult to pay for their fees can easily access higher education services by obtaining a loan from the government which is repaid at a future date. The rationale for introducing the presented policy was to encourage people from lower socioeconomic class to have access to funding which further enables them to enrol for higher education classes.

Policy Context

        Taking into consideration the historical perspective of free-education in Australia, it is apparent that the need to support poor students dates back to 1944 and before. During the mid-1880s, various education Acts were passed by Australian colonies focused on offering a free, compulsory and secular education for the people. The Factory Act of 1833 supported the presented factor by making it illegal for children aged nine and less to work in textile plants. The major factor which prompted the presented change was the need to protect the welfare of the children. As a result, the Education Acts of 1870 and 1880 ensured that all children aged 10 and below had no option but to enrol in institutions of learning. Thomas Paine’s government played a significant role in introducing free education in 1973. However, the liberals changed the presented factor in 1984 (Anagnostopoulos, Lingard & Sellar, 2016).  In 1944, Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme was established with an aim of encouraging more learners to attend classes. The system was further enhanced after it was expanded to offer scholarship programs (Pitman and Forsyth, 2014).

        The current education policy of Australia is free market in nature. The presented factor stems from the notion that the schooling sector in the region is regarded as a high revenue generating business rather than a service industry focused on benefiting the members of the society. Each family is required to identify and pay tuition fees for their children for them to attend classes.  

Social Context

The education policy in Australia has had a negative effect on the people in Australia. For instance, the policy discourages equity in learning in that people from different economic bracket find it difficult to access learning resources. Most families from the lower social class find it difficult to obtain HELP and other forms of loans offered by the government to support learning since they consider it to be too expensive. The presented factor has continually discouraged mainly from enrolling in institutions of higher learning. Additionally, most families have opted to educate their boy children at the expense of their female counterparts, thus bringing about unequal participation in the society. According to Rainford (2014) even with the more accessible higher education in Australia, the aspect of inequality is still high in the identified learning institutions since most families are still discouraged from taking the financial incentives focused on supporting learning.


 From a political perspective, it is apparent that policy has negatively influenced the labour traditions in that more women are deprived of the chance to attend school hence they fail to dominate the labour market in large numbers. Apparently, the current education policy in Australia is aligned with the liberal view. Additionally, the education policy has discouraged an environmental opportunity for people to access learning resources which is considered as an unhealthy societal behaviour which fails to support social liberation. The government should exercise control over the higher education sector to address the presented concerns and at the same time correct market failure and the redistribution of income (Anagnostopoulos, Lingard & Sellar, 2016).


        The education policy of Australia embraces a social liberal view. The social liberals highly observe individual freedom. Despite this, they still expect the government to offer fundamental welfare, education and health among other to craft out the best talent in the population. The presented move is focused of achieving a common good without conflicting desires (“Our Beliefs”, 2018).

Policy Impact

        Various players have invested their interests in the education in Australia. Politicians have shown their interest in the free education policy in Australia. For instance, it is apparent that the Prime Minister, Robert Menzies played an important role in expanding the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme to a Commonwealth Scholarships scheme, a system which offers scholarships to majority of higher learning students in the institution. Citizens are also players with an interest in the presented policy (Jamrozik, 2005). The citizens seek to ensure factors such as an increased learning in the society to curb the instances of insecurity emanating from idle youths who have not have the chance to attend schools to secure appropriate jobs. Despite the fact that free education comes at a high cost on the government’s part, the benefits noted to the society are desirable.

        Students seeking to enrol for the higher learning are the target group for the presented policy. The major outcome of the presented process is that more learners have secured the government loan to access the learning resources. The high repayment rates have discouraged people from accessing the loan hence less people are seeking to enrol for higher education. The females in the society as well as those people from lower socioeconomic bracket are highly affected in that the latter finds it difficult to cater for the higher education costs. Moreover, most families seek to offer the learning opportunity to the boy child at the expense of the girl based on traditions (Jamrozik, 2005).



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