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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...]

Birmingham releases “synthesis report” on HE reform

The Australian     |     28 October 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Commonwealth government has released a synthesis report of the past seven reviews of higher education over the past 30 years rather than conducting a further  separate review in the wake of its failed higher education reform package. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Education minister Simon Birmingham told the Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Summit said that the government is under intense time pressures to come up with a new and revitalised higher education reform package after its the package devised by former education minister Christopher Pyne was rejected by the Senate … [Read more...]

The Scan # 168 7 May 2015

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pyne's research budget fix 8 May 2015     |     Science research infrastructure that was threatened by the government’s controversial higher education reforms will receive a $300 million lifeline in next week’s budget – but at the expense of other research funding. Cutting the $1.8 billion a year research block grants is an easier option that doesn’t needing parliamentary approval or targets specific projects, but it will still hurt research it’s reported that funding for the National Collaborative and … [Read more...]

HECS debt to be recovered from Aussies abroad

Commonwealth Media     |     7 May 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Australians who have moved overseas for more than six months will be required to pay back the same amount of their HECS debt as they would if they were residing in Australia from July 2017. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… In a pre-budget announcement, minister for education and training Christopher Pyne says the Australian Government will legislate to require all Australian graduates living offshore to start making HECS payments based on their income in the 2016-17 tax year if they earn above the threshold of $AUD 53,000. “Currently, because graduates living overseas don’t have to do an … [Read more...]

An open letter to Senators from Universities Australia

Universities Australia    |    24 November 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… With the higher education reform package up for debate in the Senate this week, Universities Australia has made a last pitch to Senators arguing the package should be passed with amendments to make it "fair".  The National Tertiary Education Union has countered that amendments to make the package "fairer"  will not change the fundamental unfairness of the plan to deregulate university fees to compensate for the government cutting university funding While on the numbers as they stand,  it's not looking a strong prospect for passage, a regional assistance package which guaranteed funding for the UTas … [Read more...]

Senate impasse creating all round uncertainty

Group of 8      |     6 November 2014 Too many "known unknowns" (2) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Group of 8 consideration of the negative impact of the legislative impasse in the Senate on the government's higher education package comes on the back of Melbourne University stating that it is unable to frame a budget for next year or beyond because there are to many "known unknowns.   Neither can you say that its prognostications about the likely impact on other areas of university funding, such as research, are unreasonable: the government  seems set to effect at least its savings, one way or another.  Elsewhere, the Grattan Institute's Andrew Norton suggests a freeze on … [Read more...]

Swinburne presents options to keep higher ed fees in check

Swinburne Media Centre    |     6 November 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… As the cross bench senators weigh up the government's higher education reform package, including university fee deregulation and student loan interest rates, they might well consider a comparison table released by Swinburne University of Technology  to assist in the evaluation of four policy options that have been canvassed to moderate against excessive student fee increases from 2016. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Experts have predicted that the price of degrees will increase significantly from 2016.  The proposed flat fee of $16,000 per year announced by the University of … [Read more...]

Swinburne options comparison table

See Swinburne presents options to keep higher ed fees in check   Double click on the table to enlarge Click to enlarge … [Read more...]

Uni fee deregulation will result in choice and value?

31 October 2014 Don't hold your breath, says Schwartz ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Steven Schwartz was vice-chancellor of Macquarie University from 2006 to 2012 and is currently director of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Interestingly he is an academic advisor to Centre for Independent Studies, libertarian thinktank "actively engaged in supporting a free enterprise economy and a free society under limited government where individuals can prosper and fully develop their talents". With this background, you’d think Schwartz would be a natural proponent of university fee deregulation. You’d think wrong . In this opinion piece published in The … [Read more...]

University fee deregulation bill

30 October 2014 Sector responses ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… It's hardly news that all the university groups are as one that there is no alternative to fee deregulation to provide the funding to maintain the quality of Australian higher education (given declining public funding).  They are not as one on how the proposed Commonwealth Scholarship scheme funding  (provided by students) should be divvied up: the Group of 8 and ATN argue the money should be held and disbursed by the collecting institution, the  RUN and IRU argue that it should be pooled and disbursed on a needs basis. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Universities Australia Drawing on a … [Read more...]