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Institutional differentiation in Australian higher education

15 May 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… There is general consensus in the higher education literature that institutional differentiation is desirable (Meek et al, 1996; van Vught 2007). More diverse systems tend to perform better because they meet diverse student needs, are better equipped to stimulate social mobility through different access points and progression pathways, are better linked to labour markets that increasingly require different types of graduates, and allow for more cost-effective delivery of both education and research through specialisation. Concerns about the capacity of the Australian Unified National System to lead to diversity have been raised since it … [Read more...]

Tertiary education: where to from here?

Melbourne University Newsoom     |    27 February 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The future of Australia’s tertiary education sector is the subject of a new collection of essays by some of the country’s leading education researchers. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   Produced by the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, Visions for Australian Tertiary Education, presents a progressive and provocative agenda for transforming tertiary education in this country. Twenty-six authors, including 18 from the University of Melbourne, have contributed to the volume’s 12 chapters that discuss, among other things, … [Read more...]

One size does not fit all unis

The case for a new university type 11 May 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… There's a hint in  Budget announcements on higher education that the Government might be entertaining the notion of "teaching-only universities", reveals Emmaline Bexley (Higher education reform: small changes for now but big ones to come).  And about time, too, that the fiction of the "teaching-research nexus" to which Australia slavishly clings be abandoned.  The case for a different type of university has been argued for years. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… It would be reasonable to assume, as many people do, that the word university derives from the Latin universitas, … [Read more...]

Resourcing Australia’s tertiary education sector

LH Martin Institute Australian Government expenditure on tertiary education has been consistently at 0.8% of GDP since 2000. There has not been a ‘blowout’ in tertiary education spending. If there is a problem, it is simply that the Government needs to bring the Budget back into balance. The contribution that can be made to that objective from the tertiary education sector is at best modest, writes Mark Warburton. While direct expenditure on higher education student places under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) has increased considerably since 2008, this has been substantially offset since 2011 by 13 major savings measures which have reduced spending in other programs of support for … [Read more...]

Federal Budget 2017

The Conversation | 9 May 2017   Students interrupted Simon Birmingham’s speech on planned higher education reforms. Katina Curtis/AAP University fees and cuts Gwilym Croucher, Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne: The government has confirmed the package of changes it announced a week ago with significant cuts. Students in particular will pay more, a lot more. Student contributions will increase by 1.8% each year between 2018 and 2021 for a total 7.5% increase. This means they will pay 46%, instead of 42%, of the cost of their degree on average. So, for a four-year course, this is an increase in total student fees of … [Read more...]

The Scan 28 June 2016 #181

Apprentice numbers slump 28 June 2016    |     The number of apprentices across Australia has plunged since the Coalition took office, government figures show, with some of the steepest falls occurring in high-unemployment marginal seats still up for grabs at Saturday's election.  Western Sydney has lost 10,642 apprentices and western Melbourne 4782, while the national total fell 28 per cent from 383,562 to 278,583, between December 2013 and December last year, documents obtained under Freedom of Information and NCVER data reveal.  Labor claims the falling take up of apprenticeships is a direct result of the $1 billion stripped from trades support programs since the change of government, … [Read more...]

Higher education gets short shrift in the election campaign

28 June 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Stephen Parker, the soon to retire vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra, was an implacable opponent of the  Coalition's university deregulation package.  But from being a red hot issue during most of the last term of Parliament, higher education has hardly figured in the election campaign.  The Coalition has slipped the electorate a mogadon and seemingly gotten away with it.  The mogadon will wear of after the election, should the Coalition returned. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Higher education policy during the Abbott government was highly controversial and probably a component of Tony Abbott’s … [Read more...]

The Greens Tertiary Education Policy

Higher education Building a sustainable university sector The Greens say they are committed to boosting funding to the university sector by $8.3 billion over four years so it can provide high quality and affordable higher education and training. To help provide world-class teaching and research opportunities in universities, the Greens will:  Invest $7 billion to reverse the Coalition’s  cuts and fund a 10% increase in base funding per student at public universities; and  Invest $1.306 billion into research to reverse Government cuts to our most successful university research. Supporting university students The Greens propose to oppose higher fees for students by: reducing … [Read more...]

Liberal Party Tertiary Education Policy

Higher Education Reform The Coalition has pushed consideration of proposed university reforms, including a 20% cut in funding, out beyond the election, until 1 January 2018, but it has ruled out full fee deregulation.  It has released an options paper, to guide a consultation process, canvassing a range of alternative fee measures. That's it. Redesigning VET FEE-HELP The Coalition has proposed a set of tougher measures to fix the VET FEE-HELP blow-out in a discussion paper released on 29 April.   The present minister for vocational education and skills senator Scott Ryan said the paper will pave the way for a full redesign of the scheme. PaTH Announced in the 2016 Budget, to come into … [Read more...]

Labor’s Policies on Tertiary Education

Higher Education  Student Funding Guarantee Labor has committed to supporting the demand driven system which has seen an additional 190,000 students enrolled at university since 2009. A Labor government will introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to provide certainty to universities and remove the need for higher fees. Under a Labor Government, average funding per undergraduate student in 2018 will be more than $11,800, which it says would be $2,500 than under a Coalition government. Funding for the guarantee will be indexed. Restoration of research block grant funding Labor proposes to restore $370m in funding cut from  research grants  by the Abbott-Turnbull governments since … [Read more...]