Uni funding plan 'could hurt regional campuses'

The federal government's proposal for universities to be funded on a demand-driven basis from 2012 has come in for criticism from education commentators.

According to ABC News, critics say the plan – which would see universities receive funding for each student on an accredited course – will hurt regional university campuses because they will not be able to offer the same breadth of courses as those in the cities.

The government has already announced details of the review, which will be led by Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, a former South Australian education minister, and will report on its findings in October next year.

As the news network observed, this latest panel follows a recommendation from the government-commissioned Bradley Review into higher education which called for about $6 billion in investment as part of a major overhaul of the sector.

It also follows a report by the Warrnambool Standard which suggested that financial hurdles are continuing to make it difficult for most rural students to gain the qualifications they want, with many deferring their university places to cover costs. Young Australians struggling with such affordability issues can choose to compare student finances in search of better options.

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