Mrs Spartacus is a wonderful woman and a wonderful mother to the Spartacii, and Spartacus loves her dearly. But Mrs Spartacus insists on listening to ABC radio in the morning which forces Spartacus to listen to the dynamic lifter duo, Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck.
This morning, in one of their standard and predictable demands for a bigger government and more taxes on other people’s money, Harmer complained about the impact of HECS-HELP on young people. In particular, the lowered threshold for the commencement of repayment.
In some respects, Spartacus shares the concern of Harmer about the sizable liability many young people start their working lives with. But unlike Harmer, Spartacus is more interested in the steak than the sizzle.
Spartacus is less concerned with the financing costs of higher education and more concerted with the actual delivery costs of higher education. To wit, let us have a conversation about the cost structure and efficiency of the tertiary education system before the conversation about how to pay for it.
Given the currently low (for the time being) interest rates, if there was a genuine desire to reduce the education debt on student, one might imagine that there is more bang in focusing on the principal rather than the interest. But to do that would require an honest conversation about the cost structures of Australian universities. No necessarily about the cost of academics, or at least some academics, but rather the cost of the University Administrative State.
Here is a Sparta-post from 2016 about the numbers of administrators within Sydney Uni.
The one thing I was amazed by was the number of administrators who out numbered academics every single year . The ratio of administrators to academics was as high as 1.30 (2009) and low as 1.19 (2015).
Interesting also is that the number of academics per student has been rising every year, as has the number of administrators. In 2015, there were 17.1 students per academic and 14.4 students per administrator (thanks also to Uh oh and Blagger for the spot). So much for productivity.
Spartacus is aware that Harmer is a public servant, but in the private sector, the sector that actually generates the wealth to pay of the public sector, the only way to reduce the cost of products and services to customers is to innovate and to become more efficient. Not to go to the Government and demand subsidies. Perhaps also there should be fewer of these:
Media & Public Relations Adviser
- Opportunity to be an integral part of the media and public relations development and implementation strategies
- Located at Camperdown/Darlington Campus
- Full-time continuing appointment, minimum base salary of $103K plus 17% super
Media and Government Relations
About the opportunity
The Media and Public Relations Adviser (Engineering and IT) position develops and implements proactive media and public relations strategies that support faculty initiatives and strategies and identifies faculty achievements and research stories for media placement in order to increase the University’s media profile and to enhance the University’s brand positioning.