Articles on Higher education funding

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Australia seeks to emulate the US system of higher education, while the US seeks to move away from a system that isn’t working for all. Flickr/McBeth

The costs of the ‘great cost shift’: lessons from the US

The US system of higher education, while lauded as a model to be emulated by the Australian government, is facing harsh criticism on home soil. With up to US$1 trillion in student debt owed to the government…
Are the government’s changes to higher education opening up the door to complete privatisation, and other radical measures? Shutterstock

Some REALLY big ideas for higher education reform

The changes to higher education in last month’s budget are controversial, to say the least, and to my mind not very well thought out. They’ve been justified as attempts to boost the rankings of Australian…
Universities used to get 90% of their funding from the federal government. Now some get as little as 20%. AAP

The Commonwealth used to fund universities: what happened?

When the Whitlam government assumed responsibility from the states for all higher education funding in 1974, the Commonwealth provided 90% of universities’ income. By 2010 this had fallen to about 42…
Are new equity scholarships expected to increase access, or are they just a fig leaf to garner support for a harsh education budget? Flickr/Thomas Hawk

The scholarship fig leaf: they won’t improve access for all

Alongside higher fees and real interest rates on student debts, this year’s federal budget announced 20% of universities’ additional revenue will go towards equity scholarships. But will this measure increase…
Are Christopher Pyne’s assertions that students contribute 40% of their tuition and make 75% more money than non-graduates correct? AAP

Fact Check: what do students contribute to their own degrees?

Education Minister Christopher Pyne said during parliament question time: We are asking students to make a contribution to their own tuition fees. We are asking them to contribute, for those who enrol…
A student protester portrays Christopher Pyne as the grim reaper. Will changes to higher education kill equality? AAP

It’s not just about student fees, it’s about institutionalised inequity

The federal education minister, Christopher Pyne, says his changes to higher education including fee increases and deregulation of the sector will be fairer, since those who benefit from higher education…
The National Commission of Audit recommended sector consultations before imposing fee deregulation, which the government ignored. Now they’ve decided it was probably a good idea. AAP

Government to consult with sector on student fees after all

The government has contacted university Vice-Chancellors across the country asking for their advice on the implementation…
Education Minister Christopher Pyne wants Australia to have universities comparable to Harvard, but at what cost? Shutterstock

Australian changes may saddle students with US-style debt levels

Proposed changes in the budget to higher education fees and loans have sparked widespread protests by students. They argue the university sector without a cap on fees, as the budget proposes, will become…
The UK’s universities such as Oxbridge are world leaders, but will they follow Australia on fees? Flickr/Zimt Vogel

Will the UK follow Australia in ratcheting up student fees?

Australia’s decision to uncap university fees, announced in the budget last week, will for the first time expose Australian universities to unfettered market forces. It’s a decision that takes Australia’s…
Will post-graduate students be able to afford to conduct research? Shutterstock

Raising the cost of a PhD

The announcement in last week’s Federal budget that fees will apply to postgraduate research for the first time has so far flown under the radar. But the effects will be significant. Coupled with the effect…
Has Education Minister Christopher Pyne destroyed the equity of Australia’s higher education system? AAP

Higher education: the age of Pyne the destroyer begins

In Hinduism Lord Brahma is the creator, Lord Vishnu is the preserver, and Lord Shiva is the destroyer and transformer. Here are rich models for contemporary leaders, whether they were raised in the Hindu…
A student protester confronts a grim reaper with the face of Education Minister Christopher Pyne…has the budget killed your prospect of a debt-free future? AAP

How much student debt will you be facing post-budget?

Education minister Christopher Pyne has released new public subsidy rates for domestic students in degrees offered by universities, to take effect from 2016. As a budget saving the government aims to lower…
The 2014 Federal Budget has turned the higher education sector into a market system. AAP

Creating a quasi-market in higher education in Australia

The introduction of the demand-driven system for undergraduate places in 2012 saw the differences between the government regulated world of public universities and the market-driven world of international…
Now that the government has deregulated student fees and opened up private institutions to Commonwealth funding, what will higher education look like in five years? Peter Gawthrop/Flickr

More expensive, more elite: higher education in five years

Education Minister Christopher Pyne flew several kites in the months and weeks leading up to the budget. Tuesday night’s budget cut their strings. Just where the kites will fly and whether they will come…
The budget has revealed students will have to pay more for their degrees, what does this mean for the higher education sector? AAP

Fee deregulation: what does it mean for Australian higher education?

The message for universities from this budget is, “Fend for yourself.” Over the three years from 2015, $1.1 billion will be withdrawn from higher education by decreasing the Commonwealth’s contribution…
Budget results are in: universities will be able to charge students whatever they want from 2016. AAP

Federal budget 2014: education experts react

The government has unveiled a higher education deregulation agenda in Tuesday’s budget, including continuation of the demand driven system in public universities. In a major shake-up, universities, TAFEs…
Education Minister Christopher Pyne has signalled freeing up universities to charge students what they want may be announced in the federal budget. AAP

Pyne signals major shake-up of universities

There has been much speculation over the past few weeks that the government plans to deregulate university fees, or remove…
The protesters unfurled a banner and chanted in the studio after a questioner asked Education Minister Christopher Pyne about the government’s plans to deregulate fees. ABC/Jason Om

Sorry Tony, the student demo on Q&A was democracy in action

Who said student demos were dead? A well organised group of protesters hijacked ABC TV’s Q&A for two minutes on Monday 5 May. They were protesting against Education Minister Christopher Pyne who appeared…
If the government won’t pay, then students will have to. Flickr/Paul Wolfenden

Divided we fall: federal government pits universities against students

The principle of divide et impera (divide and conquer) has been a political staple for centuries and the Commission of Audit’s recommendations regarding higher education are a salient example. Both universities…
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen says the government should look at the evidence before implementing the Commission of Audit’s recommendation to deregulate university fees. Supplied

The government should think hard before deregulating university fees

The National Commission of Audit released yesterday has made a recommendation to government in line with proposals from some Group of Eight vice-chancellors that university fees should be deregulated…

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