A learned reader points out the possibility of Australia having more than one type of university (CMM yesterday) has occurred to the government. The last budget commissioned the Higher Education Standards Panel to review criteria for higher education providers and report in the first half of this year.
“A review provides an opportunity to ensure a coherent tertiary education sector with clear but permeable demarcations to reflect changing VET and higher education requirements and expectations. Even if no change flows from this examination, it is timely to consider the effectiveness of the provider category descriptions,” budget papers stated.
What is especially interesting is the option of opening competition by ending the existing requirement for universities to teach and research. “The review will include public and stakeholder consultation around options to change provider categories, including the possibility of a teaching-only university category.”
So, where’s the review then? Coming, CMM understands planning work is underway with the process still scheduled for coming months.
As a way of dividing universities and thus reducing the impact of criticism over funding cuts this would be hard to beat. And the possibility of teaching-only private providers being allowed to call themselves universities while competing on price might also have occurred to the government.