"Passage of the Higher Education Support Amendment (Demand Driven Funding System and Other Measures) Bill 2011 will directly transform the accessibility of higher education in Australia", Universities Australia Chair, Professor Glyn Davis AC said today.
"Student demand-driven funding was a key recommendation of the Bradley Review, and its implementation will help achieve the higher participation and attainment targets for universities that have been set by Government.
"Along with a national regulator and the potential for positive outcomes from the Review of Higher Education Base Funding, provision of funding on the basis of student demand further defines the Government's new foundations for the university sector.
Universities Australia is encouraged by the high degree of bi-partisanship in this area of policy, and encourages all members of parliament to support this legislation. This includes the abolition of Student Learning Entitlement arrangements. Universities wish to see this costly regulatory restriction removed, given that it applies to a very small number of students.
"Student Learning Entitlement is unnecessary. The new legislation still provides Government with the capacity to manage costs, though universities look to appropriate recognition of responsible investment in additional staff and facilities in any move away from an uncapped system", Professor Davis said.
"The formal recognition in the Bill of the importance of the protection of academic freedom is also welcomed, and universities look to government to also partner the sector in ensuring advancement of free intellectual inquiry.
"Universities Australia is firm in calling on all parties in Parliament to support and expedite passage of this important legislation", Professor Davis concluded.
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