Deregulation and marketisation in English Higher Education – lessons from Australia

Sep 9, 2016

Professor Peter Coaldrake 
Vice-Chancellor & President of Queensland University of Technology


“Deregulation and marketisation in English Higher Education
– lessons from Australia”



With a response from the Rt Hon Lord Willetts, former Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Rod Bristow, President UK and Core Markets, Pearson.

The English and Australian higher education systems have a great many similarities, and a long tradition of mutual exchange of policies and approaches.  Australia was influential behind English moves into income-contingent loans and attempts to measure teaching quality, while England has inspired reforms to research assessment in Australia.

Governments in both countries have long been exploring ways of influencing university behaviour, strengthening accountability and competition, and repositioning the role of government in relation to university policy in times of public spending pressures. But the future outlook for such reforms in Australia is uncertain – both because of the politics surrounding the proposed changes which were abandoned in 2014, and more broadly because of the significantly increasing student loan costs for students. Do these difficulties signify trouble ahead for the English system?

Professor Peter Coaldrake is Vice-Chancellor and President of Queensland University of Technology (QUT), a position he took up in April 2003.  He is the author or editor of a number of books including Raising the Stakes: Gambling with the Future of Universities, which has just been revised and published for a second time last month. He served as Chair of Universities Australia between 2009 and 2011, and he is the current Chair of the Fulbright Scholarship National Selection Committee.

David Willetts is the former Minister for Universities and Science from 2010-2014 and oversaw the raising of tuition fees under the Coalition government following the Browne review. As well as serving as a Conservative peer in the House of Lords he is Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation, a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, Governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Rod Bristow is the President of UK and Core Markets for Pearson (which includes Australia). He has worked in education, publishing and assessment for thirty years in universities, schools, colleges, professional training and learning technologies in the UK and internationally. He is a Trustee for the Education and Employers Taskforce, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts and past President of the Publishers Association.


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