Universities Australia supported the McGowan bill yesterday and so did the Group of Eight universities. “While our main campuses may be metropolitan, our outreach and support for regional Australia is strong. We are committed to providing the very best in education and research to regional and rural centres,” CEO Vicki Thomson said.
This seems uncommon generous of the Eight, given the group is very focused on the need to fund research and teaching at its members. But the astute Eight also understands how its members can benefit by allying with RUN in the face of competition for resources from the generality of metro universities, including those with regional campuses and big enrolments of students from low SES backgrounds. Back in 2014 the RUN and Eight groups combined to support an enrolment threshold for access to participation programme funding. It would not have cost the Eight much but it would have helped RUN, at the expense of other unis (CMM September 9).
The Group of Eight might also want to make-nice with RUN universities given they are split over medical training in the regions. The Go8 medical schools run rural training programmes and as such oppose the push for a new La Trobe – Charles Sturt medical school in regional NSW and Victoria.