The Report by The Hon. Dr David Kemp and Mr Andrew Norton found that the demand driven system was providing greater access to higher education for students from backgrounds previously not well represented in universities. These include students from rural and regional universities, from low socio-economic backgrounds and Indigenous Australians.
A key finding is that the demand driven system on early evidence is more reliably meeting the goals of helping to reduce skills shortages and lift productivity in the economy than under the previous system when caps applied to courses.
A further advantage is that the demand driven system has spurred universities to pursue innovative courses, techniques and partnerships to meet students’ needs, the Report noted.
The review panel found that, with support from effective regulation, universities successfully accommodate increasing numbers of students and that competition to attract students drives continual improvement in teaching quality.
Universities Australia’s Deputy Chief Executive Greg Evans said key recommendations of the Report were consistent with those made by the peak body representing Australia’s universities.
“Universities Australia’s submission to the review argued for retaining the demand driven system and expanding it to include sub-bachelor courses and that is what the Report has recommended”, Mr Evans said.
“The Report’s findings that more students with ability are able to attend university and that skills shortages in the economy are being met more reliably, show the demand driven system is important for Australia’s future economic growth and increased productivity”, Mr Evans said.
“As global competition intensifies, an open, flexible, university system will create the graduates, new companies, industries and jobs needed to diversify and expand the economy and strengthen society”, Mr Evans said.