Watch that to the 38 minute mark.
I have long argued that the corporate governance of Australian universities leaves a lot to be desired. The government has announced a deregulation that will give many universities a licence to print money – I’m not convinced all of the G8 will do as well as they imagine but the point remains that there are going to be massive transfers from students and the government towards universities. At the moment there is no mechanism to ensure that the money will be reinvested in education as opposed to invested in all sorts of pet projects – offshore campuses, ‘capital’ works, even more people with titles like ‘assistant deputy associate pro-vice chancellor’, and so on.
I think the deregulation is a very good idea. But there is going to be a lot of pain for the government if they don’t do something about the governance of Australian universities at the same time. It is important to emphasise that this is a governance problem and not a quality problem per se (although I can imagine quality problems arising out of this too). So giving more powers to tick-a-box regulators like AUQA is a waste of time – they did have their funding cut, but should have been abolished.