14 May 2018
For universities, budget week brought bigger news from the opposition than the government. Bill Shorten committed Labor to restoring the demand-driven funding system. If Labor wins the next election, public universities could again enrol unlimited numbers of domestic bachelor degree students.
8 May 2018
The long aftermath of the VET FEE-HELP loan fiasco is still being felt in the 2018-19 Budget. The government is planning to spend A$36.2M over fours years for a new IT system to ensure compliance in the replacement VET Student Loans program.
2 May 2018
There has been controversy raging over the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank for several weeks while a larger problem with university admissions, that of part-time study, is hardly mentioned.
4 April 2018
The federal Department of Education and Training is looking to improve the quality and relevance of higher education student statistics. In this submission to the department’s discussion paper, Grattan’s Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham call on the Government to establish a universal identifier for post-secondary students.
27 March 2018
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
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
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
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
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
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.