The Regional Universities Network calls for a national commissioner to oversight the national education strategy for regions it wants. “In the national interest, we call on the government to take action to support the growth of regional university campuses,” RUN chair and University of the Sunshine Coast VC Greg Hill says.
John Halsey suggests a commissioner in his recent report on regional, rural and remote education as one way to “create an entity that endures and provides a high and influential level of impact on the challenges and opportunities of RRR education.”
It’s not an idea all university lobbies like. The Group of Eight’s Vicki Thomson says, “we very strongly support the need for a regional education strategy which encompasses regional delivery across post-secondary education and we have been working with relevant MPs on this.” However, she adds while she hasn’t seen the detail of what RUN wants, she wonders what a regional education commissioner would accomplish.
But the Eight likes the idea of independent experts advising government on higher education as a whole. “Recent history has evidenced the complexity of higher education reform. It also demonstrates the consequences of allowing higher education policy to be developed and implemented in the absence of a structure that provides high level and independent expert advice to government,” Ms Thomson says.