Follow the higher ed money


Follow the higher ed money

The Australian
by Bernard Lane
29 August 2017

“Earlier this month we reported remarks by former ANU business dean Keith Houghton that although his research showed that universities as a sector had lifted efficiency over recent years, the track record of some institutions suggested they would struggle to find the productivity to meet the government’s 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend……..Universities would only have to boost their productivity to save more than the $1.2bn the Turnbull government is trying to cut from university funding in the next four years, according to a new study. Research by economist Keith Houghton shows that if all universities could reach at least 85 per cent of the productivity level attained by Australia’s most efficient universities, the university system could save well over $500 million a year, or in excess of $2bn over four years.” It’s the if that makes all the difference”

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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