The why of where student growth places will go

Overall government funding for growth in student numbers will meet demand over the next three years, just

Policy people at the Innovative Research Universities group have crunched the numbers to work out where funding for increased demand will go. They find the government’s model done makes “the population growth factor somewhat random in effect.”

The government will increase universities funding base by three categories.

*  regionals, accounting for 14 per cent of load in 2018 (everywhere ex the mainland state capitals, Geelong, Wollongong, Newcastle and the Gold and Sunshine coasts) – 3.5 per cent growth funding

* metro high, 20-29 year-old population growth metro areas, making up 35 per cent of load – 2.5 per cent growth funding

* metro low – all others, with 52 per cent of load in 2018 – 1 per cent growth funding

The problem in the split between metropolitan providers is that population growth does not always align with campus location, “which makes the population growth factor somewhat random in effect. Many of the high-growth areas have few to no campuses so that the majority of current load by campus in in metro low-growth regions,” the IRU argues.

This could create mixed results for similar institutions. On the IRU’s calculations Uni Melbourne will receive a 1 per cent rise, while Monash U’s will be 2.3 per cent. Uni Queensland funding will grow 1.2 per cent, compared to 2.5 per cent for QUT.  In WA, UWA and Curtin U will be up 1 per cent, with Edith Cowan U fractionally higher while Murdoch U will receive 2.5 per cent more funding.

South Australia has the lowest growth in funding for places (1 per cent) compared to the highest for  the NT (3.5 per cent) and Tasmania (3.4 per cent).

Overall, the IRU concludes, “the planned growth is barely sufficient to meet likely demand over the next three years and will be shorter again in following years.”