06 Sep 2020 Performance-Based Funding for Universities
Back in 2017 the Government announced that it was capping Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) funding for bachelor level courses at 2017 levels for 2018 and 2019, which resulted in a $2.2bn funding gap to universities predominantly through a two-year freeze in commonwealth grants funding for teaching and learning.
From 2020, funding for bachelor level places will grow by about $80 million annually; in line with population growth in the 18 to 64‑year-old age bracket, with universities able to access this growth if they meet specified performance requirements.
Performance-based funding is intended to ensure universities focus sufficient attention on the quality of their teaching, and student support to ultimately achieve the best possible graduate outcomes.
Education Minister Dan Tehan met with vice-chancellors in Wollongong in early August of this year, to discuss the report, which was prepared by an expert panel of five vice-chancellors, chaired by Professor Paul Wellings, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wollongong.
“This report shows that while we have a world-class higher education system, it needs to be stronger, more sustainable and fit for purpose,” Mr Tehan said.
Under a new funding scheme to be introduced by the Morrison government, the Universities will have to demonstrate success across the following four new performance measures to access funding increases from 2020.
- Graduate employment outcomes,
- Student success measured by dropout rates among domestic first-year students.
- Student experience; and
- Enrolment of Indigenous, low socio-economic and rural students.
Whilst many of the above criteria are already at the forefront of many Strategic Plans and measured KPIs within these organisations, the supply chain of advisors, consultants, contractors should aim to better understand the potential impacts of the performance based funding schemes on the Universities and TAFE providers, and to proactively assist in improving their abilities to perform better against those criteria.
The new funding model will require the Universities and TAFE providers to focus even more on employability, industry engagement, research and teaching outcomes and the quality of their built assets.
Based on PDS Group’s experience we believe that student experience metrics can be significantly improved by addressing certain aspects of the built assets.
With limited capital expenditure and within a short period of time significant improvement can be delivered to students by providing ‘better services and better performing facilities’.
Our staff members with significant experience in the sector have previously delivered a similar program of works focusing on:
Formal and informal break out areas and self-study spaces – implemented in underutilised lobby or corridor areas of teaching buildings.
Increased coverage of USB and charging points – targeting lecture theatres, self-learning and teaching break out areas.
Adult playgrounds, recreational spaces and landscaped hot spots – improving public thoroughfares and open spaces within campuses is a great way to provide shared facilities to student and staff cohorts and to drive student and staff experience levels up. These upgrades can also address potential public safety issues by providing improved CCTV coverage and greater public lighting to these areas.
Teaching space upgrades – delivering a limited scope of works to a large number and the most highly utilised classrooms for the greatest impact. These works to focus on new furniture, flooring, paint, blinds and new Audio-Visual equipment.
Amenity upgrades – limited upgrade to dilapidated toilet blocks, by spray painting tiled surfaces, changing old light fittings and fixtures and fittings to LED fittings and low flow taps, replacing old cubicle partitions, adding hand-dryers significantly extends the effective life of these facilities, addresses and improves backlog maintenance metrics and contributes to sustainability metrics and results in reduced operational costs of the universities by consuming less electricity and water.
Rolling out the above capital improvements on a portfolio level requires coordinated stakeholder engagement and implementation of extensive planning, budgeting and reporting processes, coupled with a robust program/project governance structure.
Our team of experts has a significant experience in working with Universitie/TAFE’s and delivering projects which focus on business case outcomes.
At PDS Group we understand that the University/TAFE and its stakeholder’s interests are the most important priority. PDS Group works with clients to best understand the key business objectives and provide the optimal development and delivery solutions and outcomes.
The bulk of our work is by referral and repeat business, due to the success of our approach. Clear and precise communication is the key to managing stakeholder relationships and successfully delivering projects on time and on budget.
PDS Group manages all stakeholder relationships with a relentless focus for the benefit of achieving the success of the project.
For further information on PDS Group, please contact our National Education Lead, Anthony Crevatin.
Click Here: Anthony Crevatin.