16.1 C
Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

‘Demand-driven’ uni course model welcomed

Latest News

Re Netflix

David Gilet, Byron Bay You would have to say that the Byron district has more than its fair share of wankers,...

Other News

Co-op meeting

Annette Snow, Myocum As a Mullumbimby Rural Co-op shareholder of 42 years and a past employee of over 13 years,...

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Honouring midwives on their International day

Many of us have a midwife to thank for our safe arrival from the womb, these specialised 'catching' hands are a blessing to both mum and bub in hospitals and in the home.

‘Natural’ cruelty

Richard Swinton, Clunes While I agree with Desmond Bellamy’s concerns about animal cruelty, the issue of ‘natural’ cruelty if the...

Highway traffic delays after truck rollover north of Byron

There have been two highway crashes north of Byron this morning.

Mayor’s parting gift 

Michele Grant, Ocean Shores The Mayor’s parting gift to the Bruns/Bayside Community was ushering through approval for the controversial Corso...

Southern Cross University vice chancellor Professor Peter Lee. Photo supplied
Southern Cross University vice chancellor Professor Peter Lee. Photo supplied

SCU vice chancellor Professor Peter Lee has thrown his support behind a government review that has backed the continuation of so-called ‘demand-driven’ university funding.

The funding is particularly beneficial to regional universities such as SCU, whose main option for growth is to increase the participation rate of students seeking tertiary education.

Speaking in his capacity as chair of the Regional Universities Network (RUN), Professor Peter Lee, said that he was delighted with the review’s main findings that the demand driven system should be maintained for bachelor places, and the system expanded to include sub-bachelor places, and post-graduate places in courses with clear community benefit and modest financial rewards such as teaching, nursing and some other health disciplines.

“These recommendations are consistent with RUN’s position, and, if adopted by the government, will ensure that regional universities can continue to work to increase the participation by regional Australians in higher education,” Professor Lee said.

“The reforms would be good for regional Australia. More highly skilled graduates are what our economy and communities need.

“RUN will continue to be committed to ensuring equity for all students and increased participation in higher education. Extension of the demand driven system to sub-bachelor places would allow universities to be more responsive to the needs of less academically prepared students.

But Professor Lee was critical of government plans to change the funding model, further expanding student loans while reducing government grants.

He said doubtful debts on the loan scheme would continue to mount unless government gave some consideration to moderating the rates of repayment.

“While the review has suggested charging a loan fee on the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and reducing the commonwealth contribution, RUN advocates that HELP doubtful debt should be addressed,” Professor Lee said.

Savings from the latter would be complemented by pegging indexation of the earnings threshold for repaying HELP debt to the Consumer Price Index rather than average weekly earnings, as proposed in the Grattan Institute report Doubtful debt. The rising cost of student loans,’ he added.

“RUN urges the government to implement the review’s key recommendations in the coming budget of keeping the caps off and expanding the demand driven system to sub-bachelor places and some post-graduate disciplines.”

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. The future is not looking good for Australian universities like Southern Cross. Already enrolments are declining in America and the same will almost certainly happen here. People are beginning to realise that many degrees do not improve the chances of getting a job; they simply burden the graduate with a large debt that will take years to pay off. It’s time business schools in particular abandoned their fixation on packaging theoretical knowledge in 3 year degrees and worked with industry to develop learning programs that employers actually value.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze that suited the newcomers to...

Oceans 15 triumphant return

The Ocean Shores Aquatics team have returned home with some great results after a month-long stint at various State School Swimming competitions. ‘They have all...