catAn epic report for the LH Martin Institute by former senior public servant Mark Warburton makes for exceptionally interesting reading. He doesn’t just have a unique perspective on policy, he also has some very valid and courageous ideas about the future. Warburton also isn’t afraid of setting the cat among the pigeons: he reckons the government’s mantra of cost blow outs under the demand driven system are a little myopic and self-serving because a series of budget cuts have kept the budget — as a proportion of GDP — pretty stable at 0.8 per cent of GDP since 2000. However, Warburton joins the conga line of experts voicing their escalating concerns about the disparity between higher education funding and policy and that of vocational education. Warburton argues post-school education financing should be completely overhauled, with vocational and higher education treated similarly and all courses backed by government subsidies as well as the unified loan scheme. He even has some pretty well developed ideas for HECS.

More please

HW often bemoans the state of independent higher education policy analysis. So we doff our cap to LH Martin for backing weighty reports such as this, and also the series of articles on funding by Frank Larkins and Ian Marshman.

Race day

While Victoria shut down for the race that stops the nation on Tuesday, Melbourne University was hard at work. It appears the public holiday was traded years ago as part of an enterprise bargaining round. Besides, the race always falls in the middle of exams. And so it was that students were lining up to sit exams as the rest of Melbourne was falling over in their stilettos at Flemington.

Race daze

One VC admitted to HW he had attended the Melbourne Cup just once. “That was enough. Unless you like hanging around a lot of people drinking champagne and watching TV, there’s not much point to it,” he said. HW couldn’t agree more.

Concerning times

Turkey’s state-run news agency says 10,130 more civil servants have been dismissed for alleged ties to terrorism while 15 mostly pro-Kurdish media outlets also have been shut down. Academics are among the most targeted, with 1267 academics being dismissed from universities.

Turkey declared a state of emergency following the July 15 coup attempt allowing the government to rule by decree.

Welcoming times

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will hold a giant party for 700 international students tonight. “The ceremony allows Brisbane to showcase itself as one of the world’s most welcoming and friendly cities for international students,” the press gumph says. The party comes as international education market research firm StudentMarketing estimates that a destination realises $14.4 million in economic impact, and 300 full time jobs, for every 1000 students it hosts. The report says part of the impact is derived from overseas students, along with their family and friends, making repeated return visits not just to the city but the region. It says that more than a third of students would like to stay and work following graduation. of student travellers wish to stay, work, and live in the destination after graduation.

Speaking of which

The government has this morning announced the names of 3000 students, researchers and professionals from 67 tertiary institutions who have been awarded Endeavour scholarships, fellowships and mobility grants.


ANU has appointed ecologist Saul Cunningham as the new director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society. Formerly a principal research scientist with CSIRO Land and Water, Cunningham’s research focuses on how biodiversity might best be maintained in landscapes that are modified by humans. He is known for his work on pollination ecology, from native plants to crops, and from wild pollinators to managed honeybees. Cunningham will take up the role in January, succeeding Steve Dovers, who is stepping down after leading the school since 2009.


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