The Minister of Higher Education, Khaled Nordin, should be studying this report closely. Perhaps, there are lessons to be learnt for Malaysia. The Rudd government is treading cautiously and this is merely a consultation phase. I will read the report soon and post my thoughts in an upcoming post.
Two-class university system on agenda
Stephen Matchett | June 10, 2008
SOME universities would lose their research function and be restricted to teaching if the Rudd Government adopted an option set out in the Bradley Committee on higher education reform’s discussion paper.
This would create a two-class university system with funding focussed on institutions with established research reputations and infrastructure.
Universities are set for the severest shake-up in a generation following the release today of the Bradley Committee report.
The committee is charged with advising the Rudd Government on reforms to higher and further education and this paper sets the context for a national debate.
The committee warns that without changes to existing funding arrangements, staff-student ratios and the number of casual staff replacing permanent career academics would increase.
But the core issue it raises is the possibility of reducing the research role of some universities, leaving them to teach.
The paper suggests that government should fund a wholesale restructure of higher education.
“It could be appropriate for government to play a facilitating role in supporting restructuring of the industry where the changes are in the public interest”, it states.
The Bradley committee also calls for proposals to restructure government relations with individual universities and puts all aspects of university administration on the agenda including fees, notably the present dependence on income from international students and changes to the way higher education relates to the TAFE and training sectors.
While the paper is billed as a “discussion” and invites responses on more than 30 issues, it establishes the context for Denise Bradley’s final report to Education Minister Julia Gillard later this year.
For a full report on the Bradley committee discussion paper see Higher Education in The Australian tomorrow.