Christopher Pyne
Christopher Pyne Contributed

Pyne believes 'quality is suffering' in tertiary education

EDUCATION Minister Christopher Pyne has distanced himself from reports the Coalition will restore caps on university student numbers, but said he does not want to train people "for careers that don't exist".

Mr Pyne, who released details yesterday of the government's plans to review tertiary education, said putting quality back into the system was his number one priority.

But some in the sector took his comments as meaning the government was preparing to roll back Labor reforms that allow an extra 200,000 students into universities.

He said the rise in student numbers meant the new government needed to review the demand-driven system due to "evidence that quality is suffering" under the burden of more students.

"We have no plans to restore the cap. But it would be totally irresponsible, as a new Minister for Education, not to review whether the demand driven system was affecting quality," he said.

But while he said the government was not considered restoring the caps, he said he had concerns about whether graduates were finding work after study.

"And whether they have grown in the courses that have a career path is one of the things that we need to carefully consider," he said.

"It would be wrong of the universities and the Commonwealth Government to simply be training people for careers that don't exist."

It is understood the option of restoring caps on student numbers will form part of the review, as well as potential changes to fees for student support services.