Submissions

2011 – Meeting Australia’s Research Workforce Needs – Consultation Paper Response

20 Nov 11

Attachment: CAPA Submission

With the recent change to the demand driven funding model and the release of the Lomax-Smith Base Funding Review, CAPA sees the opportunity for the government to redress the inequitable allocation of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) nationally. CAPA has developed the following principles around the support of and funding for CSPs nationally:

  • Access to higher education in Australia is an inalienable right.
  •  A high level of participation in higher education is of both public and private benefit. Such benefits may include but are not restricted to better health outcomes, higher income levels, higher levels of interpersonal trust, and higher productivity levels across society.
  • Base public funding should at least match private contributions to higher education.
  • Every postgraduate course of study should include some publicly-funded places.
  • The cost of postgraduate education should reflect the real cost of course delivery. The higher capacity to earn in some fields should be addressed through a taxation system rather than through higher course fees.
  • When setting fees, the capacity to pay should be balanced against the societal and individual consequences of carriage of debt after graduation.
  • Direct fees are not the only cost of higher education incurred by graduate students. Private contributions may include but are not restricted to foregone income, personal research expenses, and childcare costs.

Recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1: That at least 50% of all postgraduate coursework places be offered as Commonwealth Supported Places, with all courses containing at least some Commonwealth Supported Places.
  • Recommendation 2: That every course include some Commonwealth Supported Places, which are offered on the basis on means testing as well as merit.
  • Recommendation 3: That all courses demarcated “Masters (Extended)”, and all postgraduate courses accredited at level 8 in the AQF, be substantially funded through Commonwealth Supported Places.
  • Recommendation 4: That postgraduate Commonwealth Supported Places be funded to a higher level than undergraduate Commonwealth Supported Places to reflect the true cost for operation.