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Academic Resource Allocation In Australia: A Critical Review Dr Gan Che Ng Australasian Consultants Dr Josie Palermo Deakin University (Presenter) Dr Raj.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Resource Allocation In Australia: A Critical Review Dr Gan Che Ng Australasian Consultants Dr Josie Palermo Deakin University (Presenter) Dr Raj."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Resource Allocation In Australia: A Critical Review Dr Gan Che Ng Australasian Consultants Dr Josie Palermo Deakin University (Presenter) Dr Raj Sharma Swinburne University of Technology

2 Drivers of reforms in higher education Expansion and diversification Proliferation of providers Diversification of delivery Fiscal pressure Low, decreasing per student public $ Demand for greater accountability User pays Acknowledgement of the university as nation builder

3 Reactions to these drivers Moves to improve cost efficiencies and effectiveness Increased entrepreneurialism (Clarke, 1998) Increased managerialism and administration (Deem, 1998) Scrutiny of resource allocation (including human resources)

4 Aim critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of resource allocation models in relation to institutional efficiency and effectiveness

5 Funding Mechanisms Internationally, higher education resource allocation systems differ substantially with regard to research and teaching funding sources. In many countries higher education is in fact funded by public monies in the majority. In OECD countries, nearly 80 per cent of the expenditure on higher education comes from public sources (Varghese, 2004).

6 Jongbloed and Vossensteyn (2001)

7 Research Council Income (% of all public revenue Australia8 Belgium17 Denmark20 France15-20 Germany10 Japan21 The Netherlands7 New Zealand9 Sweden13 United Kingdom9 United States30 Jongbloed and Vossensteyn’s (2001) University Revenues obtained from research councils

8 Performance Based Funding Process by which resources are allocated according to criteria related to the achievement of ‘products’ (usually in the form of outputs) Program goals - including external accountability, institutional improvement, increased public funding, improved public perception of higher education, and meeting state based needs Performance indicators – areas of anticipated achievements such as retention/graduation rates, teaching outcome scores, research publications and patents Benchmarks - use to improve performance for each unit (eg. campus), with comparisons of results available at state or national levels. (Burke and Modarresi, Review of 10 US state systems)

9 Consequences of PBF Raised awareness of performance and accountability Mediocrity Conflicting goals – ‘clash of values’ (Marginson, 2000) Failure to overcome reputational confounds

10 Consequences of PBF Raised awareness of performance and accountability Mediocrity Conflicting goals – ‘clash of values’ (Marginson, 2000) Failure to overcome reputational confounds

11 Problems with indicators “Ultimately the mix of measures used is ultimately the consequence of political choices that directly relate to the funding agencies’ agendas and priorities” (Jongbloed and Vossensteyn, 2001, p.129)

12 Successful criteria for PBF Input by lead stakeholders A sense of achieving the goals of improving higher education Policy values stressing quality more than efficiency Sufficient time for planning and implementation Curbed costs of implementation A limited number of indicators Restricted but substantial funding Prediction of a long-term future Stable government priorities Protection against budget instability (Burke and Modaressi, 2000)

13 Inverted funding models ALL Units as profit centres Devolution of management and spending authority Entrepreneurial approaches to funding activities (Sharma, 2004)

14 Scenarios Status quo Minor Adjustments to the Existing Model - greater inputs from academic staff on Faculty/Divisional/School committees that advice them on resource allocation Major Adjustment to the Existing Funding Model – resources are allocated at individual / group level based on (e.g.) research active status. Individual / group level decision making about the nature of resources allocated (Note: need budget stability and regimes that allow carry overs)

15 Scenarios (cont.) Radical Changes to ARAM Allocate all discretionary academic funds to where they are generated as a first step. The academic/management unit (and other units) can reach service agreement with the academics concerned to recover agreed costs from the generators of the revenue. Could lead to greater efficiencies in Faculty or similar offices over time, reducing their costs and delivering more resources to the front line activities.

16 Your futures solution? “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Albert Einstein) “PBF appears to be on the way out. There is no public money to reward institutional performance” (Watt, Lancaster, Gilbert and Higerd, 2004)


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