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.

4 July 2017

Higher education fees are rising – so is it still worthwhile enrolling?

The prospect of higher fees raises concerns about whether higher education is still worthwhile. With subdued job growth since the global financial crisis and many more students at university, educational choices are more complex now than a decade ago.

8 June 2017

Submission to the Inquiry into the Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment

The Senate is conducting an inquiry into the higher education reforms announced in the 2017 Commonwealth Budget. The Senate should support changes to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and the proposed increases in student contributions.

11 May 2017

Attrition is a price worth paying for an open university system

Australian policymakers have moved to link funding to student retention. But they must accept that desirable trends don’t all arise in perfect harmony. If we want a more open and accessible higher education system, all other things being equal, one price of that is going to be higher attrition. It should be kept as low as possible, but, ultimately, it is a price worth paying.

10 May 2017

Uni students and grads must pay their fair share

As Education Minister Senator Simon Birmingham announced his higher education reforms in the lead-up to the budget, the first of many expected student protests was happening outside the venue. Students understandably do not want to pay more than they already do. But, for the majority of students and graduates, the long-term impact of what the government proposes would be small.

4 May 2017

Explainer: how will the changes to HELP student loans affect you?

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has unveiled big changes to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). Assuming parliament passes the changes, all students will have to pay more and repay quicker. The changes affect current and future debtors.

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