Go8 Submission: Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment (A More Sustainable, Responsive and Transparent Higher Education System) Bill 2017

13 Jun 2017
The Group of Eight (Go8) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Committee on behalf of its members who may also make individual submissions.

In doing so I would advise you that the Go8 Board is unanimous in its opposition to the Bill and that the Go8 strongly urges the Committee to recommend to the Senate that it block the Bill in its entirety. We have come to this conclusion on the basis that the Bill (and the underpinning Higher Education Reform Package from May 2017):
  • is not a coherent package;
  • is based on a contradictory set of principles;
  • represents the largest cuts to university funding since 1996;
  • will leave students paying more for less;
  • will not improve outcomes for students, and may reduce the capacity of Australian universities to deliver high quality education services; 
  • is, in effect, a 10 per cent cut to Government funding of teaching over the forward estimates;
  • will not deliver a sustainable system;
  • does not deliver positive outcomes for research;
  • uses, as justification (as outlined in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill)1, a report which itself cautions against “drawing inferences about the sufficiency of CGS funding directly from these ratios”;
  • jeopardises our capacity to continue to develop and grow our international sector, identified by Deloitte as one of only five ‘super growth sectors’ that ‘hold the key to Australia’s future prosperity’; and
  • imposes significant regulatory burden on students, government and universities for no clear benefit.

​In our attached submission we outline our assessment of the key areas in which the Bill, if passed, will have highly adverse implications for students, universities and sound government administration of the Higher Education sector.

We also respond to various claims the Government has made in support of the Bill and the broad policy incoherence at the heart of the legislation which lead us to believe there is a necessity for a standing Higher Education Commission to provide policy advice to Government.

To read the complete submission, please click on the link below.