VC Schmidt caps ANU UG enrolments

ANU will cap enrolments with Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt saying the present 20 000 students is appropriate and the university will not grow domestic or international numbers. Professor Schmidt  spoke on ABC Radio yesterday.

While the university did not respond to a request for further information, this appears an astute move that suits his plan for the university and adapts to political circumstances.

Professor Schmidt wants a campus that is a community. His 2016 plan includes opportunities  for large numbers of students to live on site (CMM August 2 2016) and that forbids allowing supply to ramp-up to meet demand.

It is also a good move for the ANU brand. Unless Labor wins the next election and keeps its commitment to restore the demand driven system, rationed university places will return. This means more demand for top-rated institutions, effortlessly enhancing ANU’s reputation. But Professor Schmidt is already covered against any allegations of elitism, with the university’s new entry scheme (for 2020 starts) giving priority, after making academic and community service thresholds,  to Indigenous Australians, students from low SES schools, refugees and others who have suffered long-term hardship.

As for international enrolments the same number of students paying increased fees for in-demand places might be a not-entirely unanticipated outcome.


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