I think the Australian way is a little different to college in the US.
To complete a bachelors degree at university, generally you need to pass 24 subjects (which in the Faculty of Business will cost around $1000 per subject)
At 4 subjects per semester, you can also expect to pay $500 for textbooks every 6 months as well.
Although I see it as useful, and enjoyable learning - times have changed.
5 years ago, a university degree was seen as something 'extra' which you could offer a potential employer, over the next man - but now, its almost a prerequisite to white collar life.
These days, if you don't have that degree, you won't even get into an interview room - which is tough, yet you spend tens of thousands of dollars which ultimately needs to be paid back (Government assisted university loans).
The way that society is geared, means that students will merely so 'a degree' because they think they have to - irrespective of which field. SO you end up with thousands of people conforming to social norms, completing degrees in fields which aren't even of interest, never using the qualifications (because even if they went into that industry, they end up changing anyway), and ultimately wasting valuable resources of the country.
Then you have the issue of people who are academically amazing, but socially retarded. There are many students who go through university, obtaining amazing marks - but aren't given the skills to be able to apply it in a business setting. As a result, these people can't apply the knowledge they have gained at university - in the real world..which harms both students, and industry. I think there should be more of a focus on this point, otherwise we end up with a serious amount of potential lecturers, instead of executives.
It also seems that the standard of university level subjects is lessening. The university I attend, has one of the most highly accredited business schools in the southern hemisphere, yet the students walking out with degrees should definitely not be given responsibility of dealing with the future of a company. The difficulty of subjects seems as if it is declining, and people are just cruising through 3 years of study, walking into jobs paying great money, yet in many cases, upper level management must look at them and think: "why did we employ this person?, they can't add value to our business.."
Overall, a "university degree" and what it means, has taken a large shift in society over the last 10 years. Once, it was a qualification which could show that you had dedication to something, whilst obtaining invaluable skills which could be applied in practical business settings in order to add value to businesses. Not it is commonplace, and merely a requirement to get into an interview. Gone are the days of people having 5 years experience in a particular field; university degrees are substituting for experience, and have the potential to impact on many businesses and what they can expect to achieve from a new graduate.
There are many more issues to consider, but i'm hungry.