Australian Federal Government Minister Speech


Australian Federal Government Minister Speech

Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Summit 2017 Address
MINISTER SPEECH by Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training
30 August 2017

“……..This conference has already been exploring concepts on how to modernise universities to deliver greater benefits for students and realise desperately needed efficiencies. Former vice chancellor Steven Schwartz ….. has belled the cat on outdated teaching methods, the way capital could be better used to support investment and the excessive shift in head count from teaching to administration. Former ANU Professor Keith Houghton has released research revealing significant scope for enhanced productivity and potential savings across many Australian universities who have, in many respects, been perhaps resting on their laurels with easy taxpayer funding flowing into their coffers……….”

Last week in The Australian, Australian National University economics professors Bruce Chapman and Rabee Tourky reignited a debate about a levy on international student tuition revenue (“Universities should pay levy on ‘foreign student industry’ ”, 15/11).

For several weeks, those interested in higher education have been contemplating the interim report of the Universities Accord review. The report makes many insightful and far-reaching observations. Undoubtedly it will be a turning point for important aspects of the educational offerings within our public universities.

It’s now virtually certain that the South Australian Legislative Council, the state’s upper house, will initiate a parliamentary inquiry into the planned merger of the state’s two largest universities.

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