The Australian higher education system consists of independent, self-governing public and private universities and higher education institutions that award higher education qualifications.
There are 38 public universities and 3 private universities in Australia.
A higher education provider is either a:
The Group of Eight welcomes the commitments from Minister Pyne made in Melbourne today about building a world class Australian Higher Education system.
Professor Ian Young, Chair of the Group of Eight said “The best universities in the world are built around an environment of outstanding research informing the highest quality education. The Minister’s support for the ongoing maintenance of research infrastructure and the Future Fellows program are key elements of building such excellence.”
The Higher Education Support Act Amendment (Demand-Driven System and Other Measures) Bill is intended to bring into effect the Government’s commitment to uncap the supply of Commonwealth supported places (CSPs) in universities, as recommended by the Bradley Review. The Bill qualifies the commitment, by setting up mechanisms to limit growth in places and Commonwealth spending, should this become necessary in the future. The Go8 views this as sensible public policy.
The Group of Eight welcomes a number of the key recommendations of the Commission of Audit. The Commission has recognised the important role played by Australia’s Universities in educating Australia’s future workforce and in underpinning innovation and national productivity through world-class research.
"The Group of Eight supports the recommendations that Australia develop a more deregulated system through greater flexibility in the setting of student contributions," said Professor Ian Young, Chair of the Group of Eight.
Comments by Michael Gallagher, Executive Director, The Group of Eight.
A Panel Analysis & Discussion, Seminar 2, Investing in the Future: Renewing Australian Tertiary Education Policy Seminar Series. The University of Melbourne. 21 July 2008.
Mission-based funding compacts with public universities are a feature of the unravelling new policy and financing framework for tertiary education. The Government has extensive ambitions for compacts, but their place and potential is not yet clear within the sector.
In considering the Government’s higher education reform legislation, the Australian Senate has a once in a generation opportunity to build a sustainable higher education system critical for Australia’s future.
Appropriately amended, this legislation will:
· Provide real educational choice to students who will not need to pay one cent upfront to attend university
· Address social disadvantage by funding pathway programs for students who have not had the secondary education required to succeed at university
Notes for discussion @ CSHE/L H Martin Workshop, University of Melbourne, 28 January 2010
Michael Gallagher, Executive Director, Group of Eight
The Government’s consultations on performance funding and low‐SES participation provide opportunities for important inputs to be made. We seek to make the most of these opportunities and to work constructively with the Government in achieving important outcomes for the country.
However, in doing so we need to face up maturely to several risks:
The Commonwealth Government’s Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) provides loans to Australian students enrolling in eligible university courses. The critical design feature of a HELP loan is its contingency on income. Only those graduates that receive a financial benefit from their study are required to make repayments, which is a significant departure from those regimes abroad (such as the US), where the repayment of student loans is more akin to conventional mortgage-styled loans and linked to the age of the debt.