27 March 2018

Designing a more sustainable student loan system

Nearly $20 billion of outstanding debt in the Higher Education Loan Program is not expected to be repaid. But the Commonwealth Government’s proposed reform Bill would collect less repayment from people with incomes between $58,000 and $95,000. In this submission to a Senate committee, Grattan’s Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham suggest alternative thresholds that would remedy this problem.

25 January 2018

What will funding cuts to universities mean for the future health workforce?

Just before Christmas 2017, the Federal Government ended six years of uncapped bachelor degree enrolments in all fields except medicine. For health courses, uncapping triggered an unprecedented enrolment boom, increasing student numbers by three-quarters between 2008 and 2016. That boom cannot now continue.

4 January 2018

Demand for cuts deals death blow to Australia’s demand-driven system

Australia’s experiment with demand-driven university funding is over, with government cash frozen for two years from 1 January. Increased funding from 2020 will be distributed by the government without reference to student demand. The demand-driven system was not a failed experiment. But it was a costly one, as it funded universities for unlimited numbers of bachelor’s degree students.

20 December 2017

Bold and successful experiment comes to premature end with $2.2 billion university funding cut

The demand-driven system wasn’t perfect. But it was better than the system that went before it and the system that is coming after it. It was a bold and successful experiment in higher-education policy. But sadly, it was also short-lived.

25 October 2017

Performance funding is not the way to improve university teaching

More than ever, universities have an incentive to respond to student interests, and the flexibility to do so. We should not distract them with policy changes that could easily make things worse.

25 October 2017

Focus on big picture to finetune tertiary system

Some good analysis of where tertiary education policy could be improved, along with practical proposals for reform, could lead to changes that both Labor and Liberal parties can support. Tiring as big reviews are, they are one way of getting above ad hoc problem-solving to see the bigger picture.

12 September 2017

Submission to the independent review into regional, rural and remote education

Australia needs to address the education gap between metropolitan and rural students. Rural students are less likely to go to university, and are more likely to leave university without gaining a degree. Government policy should encourage rural students to study full-time and on-campus soon after leaving school, to enhance their chances of success.

10 August 2017

Should the wealthy repay more of their student loans?

Australian legislation proposes to lower the country’s generous loan repayment threshold. Set too low, it can cause graduates serious financial hardship. Set too high, it means that significant amounts of debt will not be recovered.

9 August 2017

Public-private benefits of education: do the sums

Since HECS was introduced nearly 30 years ago, policymakers have believed that a balance of public and private benefits from higher education could set parallel public and private payments.

28 July 2017

Give students more information about their prospects for success

A quarter of a million students started university this year. The government has information about how well they are likely to do. But that information is not available to students, or difficult for them to find. In this submission, Grattan’s Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham call on the government to provide personalised completion prospects to students.

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