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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The Group of Eight have now withdrawn their support for fee deregulation, despite it already having caused fissures in the higher education system.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.
Expansion of the demand driven funding system would be a positive outcome for students, but an expensive one too. AAP

Defeat of higher ed bill should ease budget pressures

In recent years higher education enrolments have surged. This is triggering many policy issues including ballooning student debt.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne said he is ‘not prepared to let these reforms be drowned out by distractions’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Pyne’s last-ditch compromise fails to sway crossbench

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced a last-ditch effort to try to save the government's plan to deregulate university fees, which faces defeat in the Senate.
What a young person decides to study should be based on an informed choice of what is best for them - not what will be subsidised the most. from www.shutterstock.com.au

All young people deserve tertiary education support – not just at uni

Under our proposal, governments would guarantee public support for eligible people between the ages of 18-24 years – not just to go to university, but also for vocational education and training.
Christopher Pyne could separate some higher education reforms into a bill on their own, along with enough savings measures to make them budget-neutral. AAP/Lukas Coch

Demand-driven higher ed reform possible without fee deregulation

It would be a great shame if trying to achieve too much in higher education reform meant that the federal government achieved nothing at all.
It seems the desired effect of Pyne’s uni reforms is to stratify the system, making the top unis better and the middle-tier unis worse. A progressive tax would allow him to achieve this goal. AAP

HECS tax would have Pyne’s desired effect: stratifying unis

It seems the desired effect of Pyne's uni reforms is to stratify the system, making the top unis better and the middle-tier unis worse. A progressive tax would allow him to achieve this goal.
Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Peter Dawkins says we need to find a way through the higher education impasse, but not a poorly made or hasty one. Provided

How to break the higher education impasse

Higher education reform in Australia has entered a delicate phase. The current impasse must be broken, but any move to do so too quickly carries the risk of an outcome that serves neither students nor…
Would capping domestic fees at international student prices see fees soar? Shutterstock

Market caps would limit $100,000 university degrees

In recent media reports, higher education policy experts Peter Noonan and Gavin Moodie dismiss the use of international student fees as an indirect “market cap” for domestic fees. Independent senator Nick…
In the absence of public appetite to invest in public education, a measure of fee deregulation is the only way left to fund education quality to a reasonable standard. AAP/Alan Porritt

Glyn Davis: why I support the deregulation of higher education

Over recent weeks, some staff have written to vice-chancellors, urging them to reject the university deregulation measures advocated by federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne. Public universities…

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