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Don’t delay expansion to privates: HE expert Andrew Norton

The dangers of universities overcharging will increase if private colleges are locked out of the demand-driven system for another three years, HE policy expert Andrew Norton has said. In The Australian [October 24], Mr Norton said “expansion of government subsidies to private colleges and TAFEs was “the most urgent of the reforms”.

 The article was based on his blog posted that morning. Mr Norton said “the current system is not fit-for-purpose as we move into the next stage of mass higher education”. He says the private sector is critical to expansion of sub-degree programs, because universities are not fully equipped to scale up their offerings at short notice.

“The biggest danger with fee deregulation is excessive charging by public universities at the expense of students and of the taxpayers via HELP,” Mr Norton writes. “We should be encouraging (privates) to compete on against universities, not giving universities another three years of protection.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/dont-delay-expansion-to-privates-norton/story-e6frgcjx-1227100911649

 For the full analysis see Andrew Norton – (Blog) Commentary from Carlton - Extension of the demand driven system should not be delayed  Posted October 24. The government is distancing itself from a claimed list of higher education reform concessions reported this morning. I’m glad to hear that because one of the claimed concessions, a three year delay on extending the demand driven system, would be a mistake. http://andrewnorton.net.au/2014/10/24/extension-of-the-demand-driven-system-should-not-be-delayed/

See also on October 22 in The Australian - Opinion – Andrew Norton writes: Labor, Greens blind to inequities of current higher education system.

"Debate about Christopher Pyne’s higher education reform package has led Labor and the Greens into a strange political position...These contradictions arise because they defend the current higher education system, despite its anomalies and injustices.

The current funding divide cannot be characterised as a neat matter of public versus private. Australian Catholic University is technically private but on the public funding list, while public TAFE colleges offering degrees are not… The Pyne budget proposal spread roughly the same total spending as now over more students. This is fairer than the current system, which treats some students generously and others stingily for no principled reason. It is surprising that left-wing parties, normally alert to inequities, have come out in favour of an unjustifiable status quo."

 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/opinion/labor-greens-blind-to-inequities-of-current-higher-education-system/story-e6frgcko-1227097728426

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