UniMelb ignore government and sticks with its model

The University of Melbourne is ignoring the government’s plan to end public funding for its undergraduate first-degree followed by professional masters.

The university has a new student recruitment campaign for this Melbourne model, which (with the University of Western Australia) allows it to offer Commonwealth funded places to undergraduates, for a bachelors degree followed by and a professional-masters.

It’s a terrific campaign (see below) but it isn’t going to run for long, if the government gets its way.

The Melbourne model will be phased-out if the government’s higher education package, in the Senate tomorrow, passes. The government proposes a national scheme where students, rather than institutions, receive funding for masters places.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham promises transition arrangements for UniMelb, and presumably, the University of Western Australia, which has a similar system. The minister has committed to grandfathering continuing students enrolled under the Melbourne model in 2019 with the university subject to the new scheme after then. Grandfathered places are capped at 2017 numbers.

So, the new campaign only has a two-year life. Unless, of course, UniMelb assumes the government will fail to get its legislation through the Senate and/or that it will lose the next election and be replaced by a Labor government that likes the Melbourne model.

Last night acting VC Margaret Sheil told CMM “the University of Melbourne remains committed to the Melbourne Model, a curriculum which offers students a specialised and broad education suited for a fast-changing world.”


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