A low quality higher education spending cut

I was right that universities would be high on the list when budget cuts were called for, but wrong about what would get cut.

Instead of postponing the demand-driven system they are abolishing the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), and the Capital Development Pool.

Rather unusually for a government agency run by career public servants, the ALTC is offering a feisty response on its website:

The Federal Government will force the Australian Learning and Teaching Council to cease operations at the end of 2011 leaving a gaping hole in the sector.

CEO, Dr Carol Nicoll responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement made earlier today.

“The ALTC represents the Australian Government’s commitment to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching in higher education through means other than regulation,” she said.

“Obviously we are deeply disappointed that the Government’s stated commitment to improving the student learning experience for Australian students is not matched by continuing funding.” …

“The Government has taken the easy option of abolishing the ALTC. The savings to the government will be less than $22 million per annum but the damage to the higher education sector and student outcomes will be far reaching,” he [ALTC chair John Hay] said.

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