3 May 2017

University reforms spread financial pain widely but fairly

The Liberals are battle-scarred on higher education. A radical plan to cut government spending on universities and deregulate student fees failed in their first term. Education Minister Simon Birmingham is now trying again, with a new package he describes as “fair, measured and modest”.

28 February 2017

Universities and the evolving graduate labour market

Chapter published in Visions for Australian Tertiary Education: Inherent uncertainties in the labour market make it hard to predict skills needs. A surge in student numbers has produced more graduates than the labour force needs in high-skill occupations. Better informed demand, particularly on the choice between vocational and higher education, could improve the demand driven system.

1 October 2016

Slow path to getting fee reform in university sector

Earlier this week Australia’s most influential higher education minister, John Dawkins, lamented a contemporary malaise in higher education policy.

4 August 2016

Should students pay different fees for university courses?

Students currently pay higher fees for courses that lead to jobs with typically higher wages. But not all students find, or want, a job that’s within the same area in which they studied. So is this fair?

15 July 2016

Finding ways forward when higher education reform options are limited

With the Liberals returned to office, their higher education review process will almost certainly continue. But any hope that the election would smooth the path to higher education reform is now gone. The government has less room to move than before.

16 June 2016

How the two major parties shape up on debate around student loan reform

Whichever party wins the 2 July election, changes to the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) scheme are on their way.

17 May 2016

Universities can be reformed, but one piece at a time

Offering more innovative and higher quality courses? Or spending less public money per student? The two goals are not inherently contradictory, but politics make it hard to achieve both at once.

4 May 2016

Budget offers more questions than answers

There’s one thing we can say for sure about higher education policy for the next 12 months: no matter which party wins the election, there will be more consultations and reviews.

3 March 2016

Should we scrap the ATAR? What are the alternative options? Experts comment

The value of the ATAR is being called into question. But is scrapping the ATAR the answer? The Conversation speaks to experts from across the sector to debate how best to select students. Read Andrew Norton’s response.

6 October 2015

The uni reform plan that was never sold on merit

Fee deregulation let Labor run a campaign against “$100,000 degrees”, a notion the government needs to discredit before the 2016 election. It needs positive reasons for change that were hard to find during the 2014 fees debate.

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