Review of Demand Driven System Welcomed

The Review of the Demand Driven Funding System provides clear evidence that the Australian higher education system is working well. 

More students can now experience an innovative, better quality and flexible higher education system, according to Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar.

‘La Trobe University has been able to provide access to 7,874 more undergraduate students in 2013 than in 2009 because of the demand driven system, an increase of 44 per cent. We have improved our performance in terms of retention and success measures,’ Professor Dewar said.

‘These improvements are partly a result of the heightened competition triggered by the Funding System.’ 

The Review suggests that a diverse, competitive and flexible system will lead to better outcomes than a target-driven approach. La Trobe University supports this perspective but maintains that a strong policy commitment to regional Australia is necessary.

Regional campuses serve more than the ‘convenience’ purposes outlined in the review, ready to be displaced by online delivery mechanisms. La Trobe University’s Bendigo Campus offers a range of quality and high demand programs that attract students from a broad geography.

Higher education policy should continue to prioritise access to quality higher education for regional Australia.

Consistent with recommendations made by La Trobe University, the Review suggests that demand driven funding be extended to sub-bachelor places, some postgraduate courses and accredited non-university higher education providers.

‘Expanding access to sub-bachelor places is particularly important as it provides a proven pathway that allows capable but underprepared students to succeed in higher education,’ Professor Dewar said.

The Review provides a rationale to expand eligibility for government subsidies to more students. La Trobe University encourages the government to maintain per student funding in the face of expanding enrolments.  

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