Greg Craven, University Vice Chancellor, is out and about. Scaremongering.
But if these bodies are funded at anything like the same rate as universities, there will be two realities, both ugly. One is that Treasury will pay through the nose for a whole range of goods that simply will not be delivered: research, academic workforce, governance and quality. Other Treasury orifices may also smart as these providers convert every lower qualification they can into a funded “higher education” course, with a potential budget blowout.
The second is that as alternative providers use these grossly inflated subsidies to artificially lower their own prices, universities outside the sacred ring of sandstone with its premium charging capacity gradually will be forced to shed all these “extras” to compete.
The effect will be that the “mighty middle” of the university sector — the ATNS, the great outer suburbans and the quality regionals — will go quietly into that good night of being colleges of (slightly) advanced education.
Ye of little faith.
Well – his first prediction is likely to be true. This is going to be very expensive and without fundamental governance reforms, and I mean fundamental, it could turn very ugly.
His second prediction may or may not work out the way he thinks. I agree there will be winners and losers, but I’m not convinced that the G8 will all be winners and the ATNs and regionals all losers. It will depend on the quality of management in universities. The kind of authoritarian managerialism that currently infests the system will get priced in a competitive environment and those institutions that don’t rapidly change their ways and discard the peter-principle managerialists will be going quietly into the night.
As an aside – I did enjoy this comment:
On the upside, [Pyne] is dealing with a group of people who would sell their own parents, let alone their colleagues, for a handful of beans.
In a previous life I was an administrator and in a staff meeting one of the peons shouted that I’d sold my soul to the Pro-Vice Chancellor. To which I replied, “No peon, I’ve sold your soul to the PVC”.