Mixed reviews for Tehan

The first reviews of the two big speeches at the Universities Australia conference, were mixed.

The Regional Universities Network loved Education Minister Dan Tehan’s  prepared text (CMM yesterday), which was rather heavier on substance than his actual remarks. “We welcome the government and minister’s ongoing commitment to regional higher education,” network chair and Federation U VC Helen Bartlett says.  Demonstrating RUN’s bipartisan support for all parties that promise money for regional education, Professor Bartlett also backed commitments at the conference from Labor’s Tanya Plibersek.

But not everybody was pleased with Mr Tehan’s speech. One policy expert suggests he was dividing the system and ignoring regional unis’ city campuses, and vice versa. As for the minister stating he could find no ARC-funded research on lifting regional/rural higher education participation rates (CMM yesterday), the LR found eight papers– all involving researchers from those city-slicker Group of Eight unis, most of which have regional campuses.

There are no formal endorsements of Ms Plibersek’s address, what with it being delivered in an explicit election context but it went down well. Last night there was  no commentary about her talk of intervening to ensure universities meet “community expectations”. Mentioning $10bn in new money will do that, an LR remarks


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