Bill opens door to disappearance of “public” university

There’s a devil lurking in the detail of the higher education reform bill presented to parliament. As expected, the bill proposes to open federal subsidies for undergraduate teaching to private higher education providers. These will have access to 70% of the per-student rate that universities receive, writes Emmaline Bexley for The Conversation.

But commentators and universities seem to have missed one crucial aspect of the bill: if passed, any higher education provider “registered under the TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) Act in a category that allows the provider to use the word ‘university’” in its name will be able to access 100% of the Commonwealth subsidy.

What that means is that the whole idea of a ‘public university’ in Australia just disappeared. If the bill passes, private universities and Australian campuses of overseas universities will have the same access to subsidies for undergraduate teaching as the present public universities have. This may not sound like much, but the ramifications are huge.
Full report on The Conversation site