by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Click here to view past issues
Campus News : March 2012
From this year the federal government will pay Australia's universities to teach every student they choose to accept, while in Britain the government is reducing public funding for teaching. But while the change here is not designed to make our universities more globally competitive, the British strategy might make some universities more competitive in the global education market. In the past two decades, the higher education sector has boomed here and in Britain as the global demand for high-quality education has been fuelled by the growth of emerging economies. That education services are likely to form a significant export sector for both Britain and Australia has been slowly recognised by governments, which have struggled with the idea that liberalisation is needed to create a dynamic domestic market in tandem with the global opportunity. Both the Australian and British domestic higher education systems have been regulated by volume (the total number of students in the system) and price (the sum of the direct teaching grants and the cost to the taxpayer of running the student loan book). Most service sectors are regulated in one dimension only, so it is hardly surprising that there are ongoing debates on how to create a more dynamic higher education market and polarised views on whether to release the volume driver or cost driver to achieve this. We know that great national university systems can be distinguished by three features: the autonomy of individual institutions to shape their own strategy and direction; the overall funding available to teach each student (the unit of resource); and the quality and depth of academic leadership. Governments and businesses often call for improvements to our higher education system, but it is not clear that the most obvious opportunities are being taken. Here in Australia, this is a significant issue. Most commentators recognise that our economy, relative to many others, is in a strong position driven by the current resources boom. A key dividend from the boom has to be a focus on longer-term economic resilience. To achieve this we need a strategy to drive high-level skills of the next generation and to make sure that Australia has access to new knowledge likely to shape the economy and society over the next 50 years. Last year's assessment of Australia in The Economist highlighted the need to invest in a first- class university system as an important feature in our future success. University teaching funding and competition controls have been the subject of recent reviews in Australia and Britain. Interestingly, the proposed changes are setting off in different directions, notwithstanding the similarities in the two systems. In Britain, the scale and long- term implications of the North Atlantic credit crisis have generated a major squeeze on many publicly supported sectors. The coalition government in Britain is making very large cuts to teaching grants at universities while at the same time allowing English universities to charge up to £9000 ($13,500) per student per year for undergraduate programs. Universities wishing to charge these higher rates are having to work hard at understanding market demand and meet increased student expectations, as currently fees are £3000. The devolved economies of Scotland and Wales are creating their own policies, which adds to the complexity of being a student in Britain. For some English universities, the increase in fees will be greater than the scale of the cuts to teaching grants. This has the capacity to raise the unit of resource for teaching in about a third of universities and should strengthen this end of CONTRASTING APPROACHES TO UNIVERSITY FUNDING BY VICE-CHANCELLOR PROFESSOR PAUL WELLINGS continued on page 4. Our approach will increase the opportunity for more Australians to study for high-level skills... 2 CONNECT :UOW MARCH 2012 CONNECT: OPINION NEW-LOOK MAGAZINE Welcome to the first edition of CONNECT: UOW. Our new-look quarterly magazine replaces CAMPUS NEWS, the name used for a variety of UOW publications since 1975. CONNECT: UOW reflects the new branding that is currently being rolled out across the University. While the magazine has a fresh new design, it continues our commitment to keeping you up to date with all the latest news and views from UOW and the University of Wollongong in Dubai. We hope you like it.
CONNECT:UOW July 2012