News & Views item - April 2011


Campus Review Discloses a "Cone of Silence" With Regard to 8 Governmental Tertiary Education Reports. (April 18, 2011)

Campus Review online this week reports the federal government hasn't released information on the impacts of its tertiary education policies, noting that at least eight reports – "including regular annual publications considered vital for policy development" – are either significantly delayed or quietly buried.

The DEEWR reports are now between four and 15 months overdue and contain statistics relevant to key reforms including the uncapping of higher education places, the move towards contestable VET funding and the development of a research workforce strategy as well as reports on undergraduate applications -- offers and acceptances series normally released in the third quarter of the year. The 2010 version, prepared last May, is yet to be released publicly.

Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Andrew Norton told Campus Review: “I was told by DEEWR in mid-November that it would be released shortly, so it has existed in an advanced state for at least four months. With the new funding system, we need to get applications, offers and enrolments statistics done quickly to see if problems are emerging.”

Also missing are preliminary versions of the same report from 2010 and 2011. The 2009 version was released in January 2009, but last year’s version never eventuated – even though DEEWR told Campus Review in February 2010 that it would be released shortly. The preliminary reports now appear to have been abandoned.