Just before Christmas, the Coalition announced a freeze on funding for the Commonwealth grants scheme, which covers the cost of higher education. That will force universities to find “band-aid” solutions to cover their costs this year.
An estimated 10,000 university spaces will go unfunded this year because of the recent federal government budget cuts. (Universities Australia).
“Universities will be moving resources around, they’ll be looking at other programs they can perhaps close down, campuses they can close … anything they can do to hold on for 12 months” – Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said.
The peak bodies for the university will see a funding cut and the impact of this funding freeze will have university funding kept at the 2017 funding model for the next two years. Universities have committed resources to teach students at the university, so the impact would fall on new students, which make up about 35 percent of placements at public universities.
Regional universities are set to face a severe impact compared to Australia’s top-ranked Universities, raising more alerts around skills shortages in the rural sector.
If there weren’t any new policies implemented around funding, then the University of Tasmania and La Trobe University would each have received about $175 million more in base-funding.
These are some of the NSW University Statistics affected by the funding cuts:
From 2019, the university funding will be dependent on performance metrics such as student outcomes and satisfaction, transparency and financial management with a formula to be developed in consultation with universities.
Here is what universities will need to master in their planning process to adapt to the funding cuts:
- Align planning with an organisational vision to achieve strategic outcomes
- Consolidate services and optimise existing assets to maximise resources
- Leverage new business models to diversify and grow revenue
- Work to a lean model and boost organisational efficiency
- Implement the right performance measures for your university
- Improve resource allocation to reduce waste
Learn from international industry experts such as Stephen Dauncey, Director of Finance at Manchester University, UK on how to maximise the strategic planning process to override funding cuts and stay ahead of your competition at the University Strategic Planning & Resource Management Conference on the 27th & 28th March 2019 in Melbourne.