The Commission of Audit produced no surprises in its recommendations for higher education and research. Indeed it was almost restrained.
The Commission estimates that higher education is the 11th largest Government program, after the significant increases of recent years, but due to slip back to 13th with long term growth consistent with growth in nominal GDP. Higher education is not a major pressure on Government expenditure.
The main focus will be on the proposals for changes to student charges and the repayment of Higher Education Loans. The main suggestion is that the proportion of the base funding that comes from students should rise from about 41% now to 55%. There is also support for Government working towards uncapping the charges students pay.