VC actions undermine VC rhetoric

Governments look at what vice-chancellors do, rather than listen to what vice-chancellors say. Last December I pointed out that the government is taking the willingness of universities to enrol additional Commonwealth-supported as evidence – contrary to the verbal claims of VCs – that it does not need to increase funding. I repeated the argument in the Higher Education Supplement this morning.

My article was written a couple of weeks ago, but the Higher Education Supplement’s lead story showed that not only will VCs take more students on the same rates as now, they will also take more students on lower rates. Three universities are reported in the story as planning to exceed their enrolment quota caps. When this happens, they get the student contribution amount but not the Commonwealth subsidy. For many disciplines, that is a third or less of the within-quota funding rate.

So these VCs say 100% of the usual funding rate is too little, but they behave as if one-third of the usual funding rate is enough. If you were a cash-strapped government, which would you believe? Continue reading “VC actions undermine VC rhetoric”