higher education policy

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If universities increase their fees and students can’t pay their loans, should the university be held responsible? from www.shutterstock.com.au

Should universities have to pay back unpaid student debts?

ANU economists argue that Australian universities should have “skin in the game” on Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debts.
The university experience means more than a piece of paper and a photo in a cap and gown. RMIT University

How do we value universities?

We value the boosted career and wealth outcomes for graduates and what that does for our economy, but university has more value than that.
Academics want to conduct blue sky research, but that’s not why people pay to go to university. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Keeping public priorities in public universities

Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is important, but universities, as public institutions, have a responsibility to fulfil their public role too.
Are the best parts of unis – students collaborating and sharing ideas – going to be lost in a mass university system? Kennedy Library/Flickr

The mass university is good for equity, but must it also be bad for learning?

When universities began expanding, they became more inclusive. While this is a good thing, scholars often look at their large class sizes and lament that half of the students won't set foot in the lecture theatres or libraries thanks to technology.
Cuts to funding in education and research shows a lack of planning for the future. from www.shutterstock.com.au

The education budget report card: ‘F’ for Fail

You could be forgiven for thinking that education was left largely untouched in Tuesday’s federal budget. But the tinkerings to last year's education budget still mean a "fail" for education funding.
Some universities are doing okay, some are operating at losses. AAP

University balance sheets tell us only some are right to cry poor

With the release of some universities' annual reports over the last few weeks we're able to see how the universities are really faring. Is the financial situation really as dire as vice-chancellors say, as rosy as their detractors say, or somewhere in between?
What students should contribute to their degree has been a hot topic of conversation since the government tried to remove caps on fees. AAP

Should all uni students contribute the same regardless of degree?

Currently law students pay about 80% of their degree cost, and nursing students only about 30%. Is it fairer if everyone pays the same?
Do the Group of Eight universities actually have a cash-flow problem, or are they more concerned about increasing their prestige to attract international students? Flickr/sobriquet.net

Group of Eight’s change of tack smacks of self-interest

The Group of Eight have now withdrawn their support for fee deregulation, despite it already having caused fissures in the higher education system. But what are they worried about? And what sort of conversation do they want to have now?
The higher education sector needs more competition to ensure prices stay low. One way to encourage new entrants into the market is to separate funding for teaching and research. Shutterstock

Funding university teaching and research separately could reduce student fees

The higher education sector needs more competition to ensure prices stay low. One way to encourage new entrants into the market is to separate funding for teaching and research.
The government shouldn’t be trying to deregulate one half of the tertiary education sector while re-regulating the other. Flickr/Stpehen D. Strow

More or less regulation? Seeking coherence in tertiary education

Before the government tries a third time to secure support for university fee deregulation, it needs to learn from past mistakes in the tertiary education sector and come up with a plan.
Completing university is difficult for students who are the first in their family to enrol. They should be listed as one of the equity groups to receive more support. Flickr/Sarah R

Why first-in-family uni students should receive more support

Completing university is difficult for students who are the first in their family to enrol. They should be listed as one of the equity groups to receive more support.
Lack of consultation, lack of information and lack of justification have led to the second failure of Pyne’s higher education bill. AAP

Six steps the government can take to pass deregulation

The voting down of the higher education bill stems from the government's failure to sell the reforms. Here is a six step guide to successfully making big changes to higher education.

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