Edition 93 - January 2009

The Bradley Report to revolutionise Australian HE?

Australia is on the verge of reshaping its higher education system. A 270-pages report, containing 46 recommendations was presented to Education Minister Julia Gillard and should be the basis for future higher education transformations. The report was elaborated by a committee of four, headed by a former vice-chancellor of the University of South Australia, Professor Denise Bradley, hence the unofficial name, the Bradley Report. The committee was set up last year by the newly-created, at that time, Labour government, with the purpose of reviewing the future of Australian higher education.

Roughly, the recommendations foster actions to: deregulate universities, vastly increase their enrolment rates, provide students with vouchers to study at the university of their choice and extend government funding to a bigger group of providers.

The government is expected to consider the recommendations and give a response in the coming months. Although the Labour government had promised an “education revolution” when it came to office, some of the recommendations, i.e. the voucher system, seem to be too revolutionary for the ruling party still. In addition, the financial crisis is very likely to limit the scope of transformations. It seems that in the end, no matter how ambitious the goals, it is money that makes the world go round.

Australian Government

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