The Gillard Government will target its Reward Funding for universities on lifting the participation of Australians from low socio-economic backgrounds and other under-represented groups, saving $240.8 million over four years, Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans said.
“We welcome the commitment shown by Australian universities to improve the participation rates of students from low socioeconomic status (SES) and disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Reward Funding of $56.3 million will continue to be available in 2012 and 2013 for universities that achieve their participation and social inclusion targets, as agreed in Compacts.”
However, Reward Funding relating to student experience and learning outcomes will be discontinued.
“Performance measures for student experience and quality of learning outcomes are yet to be agreed to by the higher education sector and there is academic disagreement over the appropriateness of these measures to underpin reward funding,” Senator Evans said.
“Instead of rewarding universities for improvements on survey-based measures, the Government has decided to focus on the development of student experience and quality of learning outcomes measures for use in the MyUniversity website and to inform continuous improvement by universities.”
The Australian Government will continue to work with the Advancing Quality in Higher Education Reference Group and the higher education sector in the development of the University Experience Survey, an Australian version of the Collegiate Learning Assessment and the Review of the Australian Graduate Survey.
Total savings in Reward Funding of $240.8 million over four years represents less than one per cent of total funding for teaching and learning.