Wednesday, May 7, 2014

UQ Campus Sale the Start of Australian Education Rationalisation

The University of Queensland is reported to be selling its Ipswich campus to the University of Southern Queensland (I visited the very well equipped Ipswich Campus for a ARC Funded joint project with UQ in 2002). Rather than an isolated incident, I suggest this is the start of a rationalisation of Australian Higher Education, with the top tier research universities consolidating to their capital city campuses, leaving the rest of the country to teaching universities and on-line education. Many of the satellite campuses of the regional universities will also close.

At the next level down, assuming deregulation of federal funding takes place, we may see an expansion of the TAFE and on-government Registered Training Organisation (RTO) sector. These organisations use micro-campuses, to support their primarily on-line education techniques. An example is the  Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) centre co-located with the public library and a secondary school college in Gungahlin, Canberra.

The typical higher education student will need to attend a campus for about 20% of their tuition. This would be one day a week for a full time student, although the typical student will be part time and might attend an intensive campus session for a few days each semester.

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