10 Aug 2017 | Executive Director Comment

A Dodgy Chart Does Not a Good Case Make

The Report of the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee into the Government’s higher education package sheds little new light but it does include a notably dodgy chart that undermines, not supports, the Minister’s rhetoric about higher education funding growing faster than Australia’s gross domestic product. Total higher education funding is increasing. If we want Read more

03 Aug 2017 | Executive Director Comment, Funding

Universities are not rolling in gold: Average funding per student and other funding facts

IRU members oppose the Government’s Higher Education package. It does not address the key issue of ensuring needed level of resources for universities while effectively balancing Government investment with student contributions. Students need better resourced universities, not to pay more for less. The Government case that universities can sustain further reductions in revenue rests on Read more

28 Apr 2017 | Executive Director Comment, Funding

Impact of More Students at University – Part 2

The decision to open university undergraduate education to all interested and capable students is intended to ensure that all Australian have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills in the fields that drive them, as the basis for productive contribution to Australia’s future.  The decision intentionally expanded the number of higher education graduates. It Read more

26 Apr 2017 | Executive Director Comment, Students

Impact of More Students at University – Part 1

As we mark the fifth anniversary of the demand driven system, the data continues to show the positive benefits of a model steered by student agency and university commitment to access. The IRU regularly monitors data on the discipline choice of students.  We now have sufficient figures on course completions to extend the analysis. The Read more

05 Dec 2016 | Executive Director Comment, Funding

Paying extra to not pay now: the issues with a loan fee for the Higher Education Loans Program

Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham of the Grattan Institute have released Shared interest: a universal loan fee for HELP.  It proposes that the Government introduce a common 15% loan fee for each element of the Higher Education Loans Program (HELP). The proposal needs to be taken seriously to think through its implications.  Mr Norton is Read more

11 May 2016 | Education, Executive Director Comment

Successful HEPP faces death by a thousand cuts

This article by IRU Executive Director, Conor King was published in The Australian newspaper 11 May 2016 The federal government’s flagship equity program has never been allowed to become what it was meant to be. When the latest round of cuts hit, the Higher Education Participation Program will have been turned back into the small, Read more

21 Apr 2016 | Funding

Three problems with the Supplementary Report on HELP from the Parliamentary Budget Office

On 6 April 2016, The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) released Report no. 02/2016 Higher Education Loan Programme: Impact on the Budget offering models and costings for the HECS/HELP program into the future, taking into consideration Labor’s demand driven policy and Liberal’s potential deregulation one – amongst others. IRU Executive Director, Conor King asked four big Read more

13 Apr 2016 | Education, Executive Director Comment, Funding

Four questions for the Parliamentary Budget Office on the true cost of HECS-HELP

I do not fully understand the Parliamentary Budget Office report: HELP, impact on the budget. The headline figure in is that in 2025-26 the annual cost of HELP on an underlying cash balance basis will be $11.1 billion. How does a suite of programs bobbing along at an estimated cost of around $2 billion suddenly Read more

23 Nov 2015 | Education, Executive Director Comment, Funding, Research

Who funds the researcher?

The Grattan Institute report The cash nexus: how teaching funds research in Australian universities has opened up the debate about how universities’ responsibility to lead research and higher education delivery in Australia is achieved within each institution.  The issue is important, with expectations high for university delivery on both fronts. The report’s assessment of the Read more

21 Jul 2015 | Education, Executive Director Comment, Research

Updated: HILDA: In defence of good research wherever it is found

The commentary on The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey: Selected Findings from Waves 1 to 12 by Roger Wilkins of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at The University of Melbourne has been sidetracked by one plausible statistic, neglecting the full import of the Survey. The Survey confirms the Read more