…Davis welcomes moves to balance student places and research
The Australian | 18 October 2012
University of Melbourne vice-chancellor and chair of Universities Australia chair Glyn Davis has welcomed a move to encourage a balance between student places and research. Davis said the government is signalling it would use next year’s talks on compacts to establish an optimum balance between funding for student places and research.
If you ask universities to frame what their ambitions are, you can then make informed judgments across the system. That isn’t the end to the demand-driven system, but it is forcing institutions to say what they are going to do and then holding them to it.
The government would then be able to judge whether or not a university had the infrastructure and support to cater for its targeted number of students.
He said that if the government went ahead with feared cuts to research funding, a question would arise about whether expansion of places had come at the expense of research.
The government would ask itself, I imagine, if they had got the balance right between funding additional student places and funding research. In hindsight, should they have spent all of that money if they were then going to have to cut research? My hope is that they don’t cut research, so they don’t have to ask that question.