This paper examines Commonwealth funding for universities over the period 1996-2010. Governments have boosted and cut university funding in different ways over time. Governments of both parties have taken measures to improve funding, but increases in recurrent funding tend not to be sustained in real terms as the sector expands. The data point to the fiscal limits to any Government’s capacity to fund a mass (and post-mass) higher education system under the current funding framework.
This paper shows that while the absolute amount of higher education research funding has grown significantly, the relative shares of research income and research block grant funding of the major university groupings in Australia has been largely unchanged over the past two decades, with most redistribution of shares occurring between non-Go8 institutions.
The Go8's submission to the Federal Government's Review of the National Innovation System includes over 20 recommendations designed to ensure that Australia's research and research training systems are capable of underpinning a dynamic economy and society. The Go8 submission stresses the importance of basic research and business / community / university collaboration to innovation, but suggests that arguably the most important function of universities is the cultivation of talent in an environment that values intellectual curiosity. Key recommendations of the Go8's submission include:
This is the third infrastructure survey conducted by the Go8, focusing on the state of the buildings and infrastructure at the Go8 universities. This most recent survey collated data relating to aspects of the estate not previously explored, including leasing arrangements, space utilisation, parking, and transportation modes.
This scheme is a joint initiative of the Go8 and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany's national agency for the support of international academic co-operation.
It is one of the world's largest and most respected organisations in its field. Its mission is to advance Germany’s international engagement in the fields of education, science, culture and research.
This is a detailed report on academic staffing trends in Australian universities in the past decade. It shows the average student staff ratio in Australian universities has risen to 21:1 and that universities have increased casual teaching only staff to deal efficiently with increased student numbers. In the past decade the number of students in coursework programs at university increased by 56% to 528,558. Universities have also increased research only staff as funding for research has risen. The report also highlights some differences between Go8 and non Go8 universities.
Australia’s universities are doing reasonably well on the published world rankings. However, the indicators used in all the major university rankings are necessarily lagged and the earlier dominance of universities of the developed economies of North America, Britain and Europe will decline over time. Australian universities may appear to be improving against this backdrop of decline, whereas they may well be slipping behind the emergent Asian leaders.
Go8 Backgrounder 6: Mission-based funding compacts with public universities explores the possible uses of compacts in government financing of university activities, examines their potential costs and benefits, and outlines principles for their design and implementation.
Business and universities are different but complementary parts of the national innovation system and the effectiveness of the system depends on them working together. Linkages require reciprocity and both sectors need to play a role in initiating and strengthening them; neither sector can act in isolation from the other and all parties need to respond to the needs and concerns of the others.