Tweeking the Tehan funding plan: small change or big cost

Lobby group IRU suggests two alternative changes to the government’s student place funding model

“It is possible to rework the rates chosen to reduce the negative impact of the revamped discipline cluster model while retaining the gain in simplicity and the grouping of disciplines the government proposes,” the Innovative Research Universities reports in a new policy paper.

IRU proposes two models, both of which reduce the government’s 11 discipline revenue streams to seven and vary what government and students pay per place and universities receive for them.

One option is designed to combine the lowest student charge with a “mid-level” government payment, with funding changes “similar” to the government’s intent. Option two keeps the changed student charges in the first option, “with more significant improvements” in what government funds, “to ensure a better alignment of incentives for students and university”. This would reduce the overall annual saving to government from $1.1bn to $396m