The Australian | 15 February 2013
Chairman of the Australian Technology Network Peter Coaldrake has echoed his counterpart in the Innovative Research Universities Barney Glover that, in the absence of an increase in base funding, universities may need to rein in the growth of student numbers in order to maintain quality.
Coaldrake, who is also vice-chancellor at Queensland University of Technology says that
Universities have to make a choice about the balance between climbing the quality stakes and their factory size. Maintaining quality is now the challenge. It isn’t just a question for government, it is a question for individual institutions. Institutions have to make choices about how quickly they grow.
Reining in growth will obviously put pressure on the government’s participation targets especially targets to boost the numbers of disadvantaged students.
Coaldrake observed that higher education issues may struggle to gain attention in this year’s election, as in 2010, with apparent bipartisanship on the main issues.
But he warned politicians that any proposals to increase the cost of tuition for students, as has occurred in the UK, could be seen as limiting opportunity, noting that Australian university students already pay towards the high end of international scales.