Articles on Higher education funding

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When contemplating our fee deregulation gamble, we should look no further than New Zealand, where it was tried and failed. The.Rohit/Flickr

Will Australia learn from NZ’s mistakes in higher education?

Since 1990 New Zealand has introduced many dramatic “reforms” into its higher education system, many of them well in advance of Australia. A number of these “reforms” have been unwound after nasty, unintended…
Fee deregulation, cuts to research: these won’t help boost Australia’s universities in the rankings. AAP

Pyne’s plan isn’t the way to protect our unis from ‘mediocrity’

The rise and rise of Australian universities in the THE World University Rankings is indeed a good news story. Eight Australian institutions ranked in the top 200, and five in the top 100; that’s quite…
The fee model University of Western Australia will adopt under fee deregulation would see course repayments quadruple in some instances. Shutterstock

NATSEM: UWA model would lift uni debt for women, disadvantaged

The University of Western Australia recently announced its proposed post-deregulation price structure. UWA’s new fee is a flat fee of A$16,000 per year for undergraduate courses, which is significantly…
The sandstone universities have come out in support of fee deregulation, but their support is based on misguided beliefs. AAP

Three misguided beliefs of the Group of Eight universities

The Abbott government’s proposals for reform of the higher education sector have not found much favour with students, academics or the general public. They have, however, had a good deal of support from…
Fee deregulation mightn’t be ideal, but it’s the best option we have given underfunding of the higher education sector. AAP

Higher education – how did we get to here?

For years the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee - and then Universities Australia - warned higher education in Australia was moving inexorably towards a tipping point. Without substantial increases…
Should we put a cap on uni fees? Shutterstock

Which cap fits? Putting a ceiling on university fees

In all of the debate about the government’s plans for higher education, what people seem to worry about most is the prospect of ballooning student fees, with predictions of A$100,000 degrees or more. So…
Gough Whitlam’s free university didn’t greatly improve access for students from low socio-economic backgrounds, but if Pyne thinks his reforms will, he’s badly mistaken. Flickr/Gostalgia

Maybe free university didn’t improve access for all, but neither will fee deregulation

Education Minister Christopher Pyne defied historical orthodoxy last week by declaring Gough Whitlam’s free tertiary education a failure. Free education only helped reinforce the place of the rich, Pyne…
The higher education bill opens up government subsidies to anyone who can call themselves a university. But can anyone call themselves a university? AAP

Bill opens door to putting private and public universities on same footing

There’s a devil lurking in the detail of the higher education reform bill presented to parliament. As expected, the bill, introduced yesterday, proposes to open Commonwealth subsidies for undergraduate…
Waiting to go off. Student debt via PathDoc/Shutterstock

What can defuse the student loan time bomb?

According to a new pamphlet issued by the Social Market Foundation, “the Tories’ student loan system that finances our universities, voted through by the Lib Dems, is a timebomb waiting to go off”. The…

Where to now for the Higher Education bill?

This morning the government revealed the details of the higher education reform package it is taking to parliament. As anticipated, the legislation closely mirrors the announcement on budget night. There…
Christopher Pyne’s education “reforms” have been wildly unpopular, and he hasn’t been very successful in winning people over. Why? AAP

Politics 101: why Pyne has failed to sell his education ‘reforms’

No. And with that, Clive Palmer indicated that the populist Palmer United Party (PUP) would not support the federal government’s proposed deregulation of the tertiary education system. At least in its…
Charging a higher real interest rate on HECS would hit the most disadvantaged the hardest. Shutterstock

HELP is in need of help

An important issue for Australian university funding concerns the rate of interest applied to Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt. For the last 25 years the debts have been adjusted to inflation…
It has been predicted middle-tier universities will “wither on the vine” in the wake of fee deregulation, but they have a unique opportunity to bloom and thrive if they go about it the right way. Flickr/Austin DeArmond

Middle-tier universities in Australia aren’t doomed to wither and die

The “future of universities” has been the subject of much speculation in recent years. Online learning, declining government support, global competition between universities and the rise of universities…
Vice-Chancellor of the ANU Ian Young told the Press Club Senators should support fee deregulation, but not interest on HECS. AAP

ANU leader urges senators to enable fee deregulation

ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Young has urged the Senate to pass fee deregulation, proposed in May’s budget, but stopped short…
American universities are higher in the rankings than Australia could dream of, but the way to get there isn’t through price competition. That’s not how America got there. Flickr/Ryan Kelly

Copying the myth of competitive excellence in US higher education

US universities consistently top the Times Higher Education and Shanghai Rankings of the world’s universities. In the 2013-2014 Times Rankings, seven of the top ten and 21 of the top 30 global universities…

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