Australia’s fat, bloated university sector needs culling


The Australian’s Judith Sloan has torn into Australia’s bloated, inefficient university sector citing nearly 50 years of policy bungles. Included among these are the decision to upgrade colleges of advanced education and teachers’ colleges to university status in the late 1980s, which has resulted in 37 universities whose quality varies considerably. Sloan also believes the massive growth in international student numbers has also been disastrous, with many universities becoming focused on providing pathways to migration pathways rather than a quality education:

We now have 37 public universities ranging from world-class to unsatisfactory. Most attempt to be clones of one another, pretending to be research as well as teaching outfits, but just a handful of the institutions has research credibility.

And if 37 sounds a lot for a population of 25 million, it is nothing compared with the proliferation of campuses.

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About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.