Senate inquiry into rebuilding the Australian university system

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The current pandemic is posing significant financial challenges for our universities, but the post-pandemic era is likely to pose an even more significant challenge for Australia.

Already, reports of abolishing hundreds of professional and support staff positions are emerging. The mass termination of up to as many as 100,000 casual, part-time, administrative and executive positions would irrevocably damage Australia’s capacity to teach, research & contribute to the community. 

Hence, the Australian Association of University Professors (AAUP) is calling on the Senate Standing Committees on Education and Employment for an enquiry into the sustainability of the Australian higher education system as the current crisis evolves.

We ask for a Senate inquiry to explore university governance arrangements, funding models, risk-taking, local and international student experiences, how research is assessed, education infrastructure and employment conditions.

Further, a specific focus must be the commercial models that the Australian public universities have pursued over the last decades and the significant risks they have imposed on the sector concerning the quality of education and research, financial sustainability and protection of our human capital.

The outcomes should expose the deficiencies and weaknesses in the current sector models with recommendations on how to overcome these frailties in future.

More information on the AAUP website: