Menu

‘Demand-driven’ uni course model welcomed

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.”


One response to “‘Demand-driven’ uni course model welcomed”

  1. Ken_L says:

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Vast Ballina and Falls Festival