Melbourne v-c calls for funding decisions to be more independent

Glyn Davis' book also advocates creation of new institutions

November 27, 2017
Melbourne, Australia

The Australian government should consider devolving university funding decisions to a new-look Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission, University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis argues in his new book.

Professor Davis argues in the book that the change would help “future-proof the sector from digital disruption and rampant private competition”, The Australian reported.

His vision “also requires a single policy perspective covering post-school education, funding for teaching and research that reflects actual costs – so that each university is no longer forced to "hedge its bets through complex internal cross-subsidies" – and a "fifth wave of new institutions” focusing on niche sectors to accommodate growth, the newspaper said.

“They could straddle sectors, offering vocational as well as university qualifications,” Professor Davis says of new institutions in The Australian Idea of a University.

“Diversity might embrace institutional size, mission, student mix, course offerings, mode and language of instruction, undergraduate and postgraduate offerings, (and) generalist and professional programmes.”

And he writes on the idea of a Tertiary Education Commission: “An independent commission charged with exclusive authority to distribute all public funding according to transparent operating procedures would stop universities behaving like mendicants, always hassling government for some local advantage.”

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