Where to next on higher education reform?
Though more moderate than the 2014 version, the new higher education reform package represents groundhog day for the major political parties.
Universities and other not-for-profit entities typically talk about surpluses, not profits.
The fact that a university has a surplus doesn't mean it has a profit to be either reinvested or returned to shareholders. Grants, for example, should be spent on the projects they're intended for.
Simon Birmingham said the reforms were ‘fair, reasonable and necessary’.
The government is seeking savings of $2.8 billion from higher education over the budget period, in another attempt at a major shake-up of Australia's university sector.
How do we measure success?
There are already signs of this happening in Australia, but research from overseas reveals few benefits.
South Africa’s government is trying to approach student funding differently.
The ministerial task team's report presents a jaundiced view of an important organisation that's opened the doors of higher education to many who would otherwise have been closed out.
Thabo Mbeki during his inauguration as Chancellor at UNISA.
There's no doubt South African universities need to undergo a real shift. But are the country's current intellectual and academic forces up to the task?
Spending on vocational education has declined.
While spending has grown for preschools, schools and universities, vocational education misses out.
Pension funds could be a powerful source of higher education financing.
Pension fund managers must consider environmental, social and governance issues when making investment decisions. The student funding crisis is a perfect example of a social issue.
UNSW is one of a few Australian universities that play host to a Confucius Institute.
Many centres were set up in Australian universities to take advantage of China's rising importance, but without ongoing funding they might be subject to interference from external donors.
There has been a great deal of research, planning and talking to come up with solutions to South Africa's higher education funding crisis. Some of these plans must now be put into action.
“Free” education is not fair or sustainable.
Higher education is a resource intensive enterprise. It cannot effectively function without a massive injection of resources in a sustained and escalated manner.
Protesting students have had enough and their anger is burning hot.
South Africa's universities have been told to set their own fee increases for 2017. That's good news for institutions, but it hasn't been well-received by many students.
A year on from South Africa’s #feesmustfall protests, funding remains a hot issue.
Academia is being asked to do less for more, and universities are at financial breaking point. This has implications for all South Africans.
Students pay between $6,256 and $10,440 for a university degree, depending on which course they choose to study.
After almost a decade of failed processes to reform the current funding system, the government must produce a revised system that improves the quality of outcomes for students in all courses.
Is it fair that students pay different amounts for university courses?
Students currently pay higher fees for courses that lead to jobs with typically higher wages. But not all students find, or want, a job in their area of study. Should all students then pay the same amount for their university degree?
Capping the number of students at current levels would reduce future participation in tertiary education.
One option could be to cut per-student funding and instead raise the student contribution from an average of about 40% to 50%, by raising HECS caps.
There has been an increase in research grants going to high-profile applicants.
Demand for research grants has far exceeded supply, with success rates for grant applications falling to record lows.
Of course Africa’s universities need collaboration – but not if it’s merely an imposition of ideas from elsewhere.
Africa's universities must avoid collaborative programmes with the North that become mere tick-box exercises that only benefit Northern researchers and organisations.
Kim Carr (left) and Christopher Pyne (right) debating on innovation at the National Press Club.
Pyne talked more about changing taxes and incentives to stimulate growth and industry, whereas Carr had clear plans for government investment.
Education groups need to make sure they use data to make useful comparisons that are in no way misleading.
The way the higher education sector uses data from the OECD is often technically correct, but substantively misleading.