“..the reporting requirements of universities need to be streamlined and that the resulting savings should be re-invested in education. Significant reduction in regulatory intervention, to which the Government is committed, will require the development of agreed measures of educational outcomes that can replace the present heavy emphasis on inputs reporting and process monitoring.”
“I have agreed to a series of changes to the higher education reform legislation to significantly reduce the level of red tape and simplify the administration of the reform programmes”
Marketisation in Australia has indeed led to decreased funding (per student) of Australian higher education (see for instance chapter 10 in this report, table B1.4 in this OECD Excel file, this publication of the Australian Vice Chancellors’ Committee). However, somehow this has gone together with an increase in micro-management and micro-regulation instead of an increase in flexibility. In short: red tape is everywhere in Australian universities, despite (or due to?) increased marketisation.
Vice Chancellors agree. Australian National University vice-chancellor Ian Chubb said red tape and regulation had continued to grow:
“All sorts of approvals have to be gained for courses that shouldn’t be required. We have to predict basically 12 months in advance the subjects students will enrol in. Given a third haven’t finished school when we make those predictions, it is unnecessarily complicated.”
“The explosion in fine-grained information demands by government and the ever more prescriptive policy environment is limiting our ability to be innovative and responsive to students. It means directing resources to huge compliance and reporting exercises and away from teaching research. It would be costing millions of dollars across the sector.”