Another Alan Tudge idea to upset unis

Think free speech on campus, translational research, job-focused courses and teaching off-shore is all the education minister’s agenda? Think again 

Mr Tudge’s Universities Australia address yesterday innocuously included ending the university system as we know it.

“We also need to start a conversation about how we can support greater differentiation and specialisation in the university sector. We have 39 comprehensive universities, which may not be an optimal model for the quality of teaching or research in this country,” the education minister announced.

That’s “teaching or research”, not teaching and research.

This is a debate as old as the assumption that every university needs to find something for its DVC R to do, but one which looked settled.

The new Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021 Act states that to keep the university title institutions must undertake “world standard” research in at least three, or 30 per cent of disciplines they teach.

Any that don’t presumably could be demoted to “university college” or, heaven forfend, even “institute of higher education.”

There isn’t a VC in the country that would not fight to the last PhD student to stop that.