The Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH) supports the position of Universities Australia in relation to the review of the Demand Driven System for funding places at Australasian Universities. DASSH shares the Minister’s expressed concern to expand Australian higher education to enhance knowledge and capabilities of Australians to contribute to society in the context of a global economy effectively. DASSH supports the following principles for improvements to the demand driven system:
- That it supports Australian universities to provide high quality educational qualifications, through appropriate accountability measures.
- That it includes equity provisions to ensure that students from low-SES, indigenous and regional groups are not disadvantaged in their access to higher education.
- That it permits universities the autonomy to develop different courses and modes of delivery of programs designed to meet student demand and workforce needs.
- That it supports universities in providing pre-degree programs for students who are less well-prepared for university study.
- That it continues to preserve the autonomy of universities to decide how to best spend its block grant allocation; and that steps are taken to ensure strategically important areas of study and expertise are preserved within Australia.
- That it supports collaboration and partnerships between universities and between universities and other educational providers to develop educational innovation.