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“Who do you trust?” has become a common mantra in Australian politics. Our political leaders should do much more to stop the answer being “no one”. AAP Image/Julian Smith

How to restore trust in politics after the Victorian election

A fundamental lack of trust is at the heart of Australian politicians’ extremely poor reputation. It is the main reason why people’s opinions about their elected representatives have mutated from healthy…
Australia is one of the only countries in the democratic world that doesn’t require political parties to report electoral expenditure. Flickr/Mindful One

Identifying political donors is only half the transparency story this election year

The release of political donation data from 2011—2012 has predictably generated headlines about who paid what to which Australian political parties over the past year. In line with the Commonwealth Electoral…
Around half a billion dollars will be cut over four years from a program that supports Australian research, the MYEFO showed. http://www.flickr.com/photos/countydurhamdc/

Mid-year budget slashes $499m from research support

Almost half a billion dollars will be cut over four years from a program that helps pay overhead costs for Australia’s researchers…
The government will boost schools funding today, but what’s next? Classroom image from www.shutterstock.com

Gonski is half the battle, trusting teachers is the next step

Today the Prime Minister will announce the government’s full policy response on schools funding, following the Gonski report earlier this year. The Gonski report recommended a funding boost across the…
The debate around teacher quality should be informed by research, not hunches and misinformation. Teacher image from www.shutterstock.com

A political education: hijacking the quality teaching movement

All we seem to hear about these days is failing teachers in failing schools. Those from business, government and the field of economics have all weighed in, criticising teachers, teacher educators and…
The government needs to do the maths on school funding and look at which schools need money most. Schools image from www.shutterstock.com

Do all independent schools need a funding increase?

In the lead up to the government’s response to the Gonski reforms, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised no school will lose funding under the new arrangements. In fact, “every independent school in…
Australia’s 4x100 metre medley swimming team with their gold medals. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Dollars and sense: funding and Olympic success

It is now more than 30 years since the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) opened in Canberra, so it was predictable that a modest, rather than overwhelmingly successful campaign at the London Olympics…
Asking what higher education students should pay is a deceptively straightforward question. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Public vs private benefit: what do subsidies for university fees pay for?

The Grattan Institute’s most recent report Graduate Winners by Andrew Norton has generated valuable debate about what financial subsidy government should provide for university students. But before adjusting…
Should the government subsidise university places when graduates gain so much from a tertiary education? Flickr/pamhule

University subsidies: do graduate winners need another prize?

After releasing my report, Graduate Winners: Assessing the public and private benefits of higher education, the question I have most been asked is: if university fees go up, will students still come? It’s…
Liam Lenten explains why the government spends your money on sport.

Why do governments fund sports? (VIDEO)

Welcome to Some Sports Economics, a six-part video series explaining economic concepts through sport, by La Trobe University senior lecturer, Liam Lenten. In the sixth and final part of this series, Liam…
Some journal editors demand academics boost the number of references to other articles published in their journal. Flickr/Spinstah

Unethical journals tell academics to pad their papers with citations

One in five academics from a range of fields say they have come under pressure from journals to pad out their papers with…

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