Regional unis make their case on undergraduate growth funding formula

The government intends to allocate undergraduate growth places for 2020 according to a new performance formula and has asked universities to respond to its ideas on how to do it (CMM January 14). The prescriptions in the government’s discussion paper gave universities not much room to move, perhaps to prevent short submissions of what most universities really want –a return to demand driven funding. As the Regional Universities Network puts it;

“We are concerned about the robustness and appropriateness of many of the potential performance measures proposed in the discussion paper. A range of potential measures and datasets are noted, however little attempt is made to clearly identify the department’s performance expectations of institutions, link potential performance measures to those expectations, or to assess the robustness or appropriateness of different potential measures.”

But RUN works with what it is given, responding to the options the government sets out, including;
Basing performance based funding for a year on regional higher education participation rates, not just population movement
Including PBF in base grants rather than leaving it in a contestable, compounding pool
Using a regional weighting for attrition and completion rates
Redistributing funds which institutions do not qualify to collect according to performance of other universities
Creating a regional, rural and remote education commissioner (a major RUN objective) to advise on allocation of performance funding to relevant unis.

A panel chaired by University of Wollongong VC Paul Wellings will report on what institutions propose by end March and send final advice to government on June 30.


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