The University of Western Sydney welcomes the release of the report on the Review of the Demand Driven System by the Federal Government, and its recommendations to retain the current uncapping of university places and expand the system to include sub-bachelor and specific postgraduate programs.
UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover
, says the report's focus on flexibility, responsiveness and quality aligns with UWS's strategic priorities, ensuring UWS is well positioned to constructively respond to its key findings and recommendations.
“It is particularly encouraging to see the report highlight that the current system is helping to meet our national skills needs and lift economic productivity. UWS is committed to working with the Government to improve the sector's capacity to monitor and respond to this critical national-interest measure,” says Professor Glover.
Also of note is the report's confirmation of the importance of 'academic preparation' ahead of measures such as ATAR which has proven to be a less reliable predictor of success at University for many students.
“As a university with one of the largest number of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds in Australia, we are encouraged that the review affirms what we at UWS already know - that is, the current system has significantly opened up access for thousands more students and given them the opportunity to gain a university education without compromising quality,” says Professor Glover.
“The report’s emphasis on pathways and academic preparation courses as being critical to student success reflects the University's own experience, as evidenced by its highly successful UWSCollege
“It is also encouraging to see the system supporting the emergence of new models of higher education delivery. As an institution responsible for the most comprehensive roll-out of technology-enabled learning, we concur with this finding.”
Professor Glover says aspects of the report do present challenges to the sector, particularly those related to the expansion of the system to a broader range of higher education providers.
“We also want to ensure that any adjustment to the funding for commonwealth places and student contribution does not place additional financial burdens on students, nor work as a deterrent to university study,” says Professor Glover.
“Nonetheless, given the report's progressive tone and the responsive and inclusive agenda it sets for all stakeholders, UWS is convinced that the right outcomes are achievable.
“We thank the Minister and the report's authors for this constructive articulation of policy priorities and we will continue our commitment to working with the Commonwealth to ensure Australia's higher education sector continues to serve and enhance the national interest.”