Vice-Chancellor delivers higher education policy lecture in London
Professor Paul Wellings CBE presented the 11th Annual Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) at Australia House in London yesterday (26 November).
Professor Wellings examined the organisation and key features of the Anglo-Australian higher education systems in a wide-ranging talk to the independent policy think tank titled, ‘The Architecture and the Plumbing: What features do the higher education systems in the UK and Australia have in common?’
This is the first occasion that a Vice-Chancellor from an Australian university has delivered a HEPI lecture.
In a wide-ranging talk, Professor Wellings examined the organisation and key features of the Anglo-Australian higher education systems in four key areas: entry standards and social equity; the effects of deregulating student numbers and fees; research patterns; and the relationship between business and universities.
The design of the system of support and funding for domestic students is remarkably similar in both countries.
He highlighted that both countries are concerned about the financial sustainability of their sectors and are exploring the regulatory framework for domestic undergraduate fees.
Australia and the UK uncapped student number control in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Australia’s decision to uncap student numbers in 2012 has led to increases in recruitment and changes in entry standards and subject choice. Professor Wellings’ talk examined some of the consequences of this aspect of deregulation.
The profiles of university research outputs are broadly similar but there are differences between Australia and the UK in the performance of graduate schools and interactions with business.
The implications of the relatively weak link in the interactions between Australian businesses and universities were explored in Professor Wellings’ talk.
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) was established in 2002 to influence the higher education policy debate with evidence. It is a UK-wide, independent and non-partisan think-tank.
The full text of Professor Wellings' talk is online at hepi.ac.uk.
Previous Higher Education Policy Institute, Annual Lectures
- 2003: Lord Dearing, Chancellor of University of Nottingham, UK
- 2004: Professor Robert Reich, 22nd US Secretary of Labor, USA
- 2005: Lord Broers, Vice-Chancellor, Cambridge University, UK
- 2006: HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan
- 2008: Professor Yves Mény, President European Institute of Italy
- 2008: Lord Giddens, Director, London School of Economics, UK
- 2010: Professor Rick Levin, President, Yale University, USA
- 2011: Dr Jamil Salmi, World Bank, USA
- 2012: Professor Choon Fong Shih, President, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
- 2013: Dr Bahram Bekhradnia, Chief Executive, HEPI, UK