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Learning lessons from other nations

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Published on April 24, 2014

You are unlikely to ever find a perfect policy in another country that you can implement in your own nation unchanged. In the improbable event that another nation has found the ideal policy for them, it may well not work so well for you because the wider environment in which a policy is implemented matters.

Nonetheless, implementing policy without considering what other nations are doing is incredibly unwise. Policymakers in other countries grapple with the same questions that we do every single day.

Image by Philip Brewer

Image by Philip Brewer

Take higher education in Australia. They wrestle with the same questions as we do:

  • How you ensure a mass system of higher education is well funded?
  • How you can best regulate a diverse range of providers?
  • How can you strike the right balance between welcoming legitimate international students and blocking the not-so-legitimate ones?

In two new reports out today, the Higher Education Policy Institute puts the Australian higher education system under the microscope and then compares it to the English one. Both reports conclude that England could learn lessons from the Australian system, particularly on the support offered to students other than first-degree students.

It is very hard for those working in government to monitor interesting developments all over the world. So it is the job of organisations like University Alliance and the Higher Education Policy Institute to put the evidence in front of policymakers. In the case of Australia, that is what we are jointly doing today.

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