Deakin coy on uni reforms stance

DEAKIN management is keeping tight-lipped about the ramifications of university deregulation as the federal government presses ahead with the reforms.

Regional universities including Deakin’s Warrnambool campus are set to win big from the changes, according to Education Minister Christopher Pyne, who claimed smaller tertiary institutions would gain from assistance for diploma programs.

Mr Pyne said deregulation of the sector would enable regional universities to attract more students into diploma and associate degree programs. He said the two methods were used by many country students as a springboard to undergraduate degrees.

“Many regional institutions have warmly welcomed this opportunity,” Mr Pyne said. “They are frustrated by the restrictions which prevent them from developing creative solutions that directly meet the needs of their communities.

“Regional students and regional higher education institutions will benefit significantly as we expand the demand driven system to enable study in more places in more ways.”

The office of Deakin University vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander declined to comment on the federal reforms yesterday, having two months ago labelled them as “extraordinarily aggressive”. 

Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson backed the government reform package and claimed it would make tertiary education more “sustainable, affordable and equitable in serving the best interests of students.”

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