The Australian – Retention-based funding could add up
The Australian government should consider funding universities on the basis of student retention rather than enrolments, a new UK report has said.
The UK’s Higher Education Policy Institute has published a report by Libby Hackett, the chief executive of University Alliance, comparing the UK system with that of Australia. While focused on what the UK can learn from Australia, the report suggests where Australia could learn from the UK.
“Funding on the basis of retention also provides more options for managing rising rates of non-completion or drop out, which is something that might be more relevant to the Australian higher education sector in an era of demand-driven expansion with declining ATAR entry scores perhaps,” Ms Hackett said.
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Learning lessons from other nations
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
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.
THE – We Could Learn From Australian Funding System
Higher education policymakers in the UK should pay much closer attention to Australia’s funding system, which is “often ahead” of England’s, Libby Hackett and Nick Hillman argue today. This is to launch a joint University Alliance and HEPI report, ‘HELP from Down Under? – ‘It’s not only on the cricket pitch that we can learn from Australia’’
University Alliance chief executive Libby Hackett, who has written a longer analysis to accompany Mr Hillman’s, said Fee-Help should be seen as a “proof of concept” that a cost neutral loan scheme was possible. As well as postgraduates, she suggested it could also be offered to students at private providers and those studying second degrees at the same level as their first (known as ELQ students). She said that forthcoming University Alliance proposals for England’s funding system would set out a range of options to achieve cost neutrality.
Read the full article here.