27 September 2011

UC says give us CIT or we will destroy it

| johnboy
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The Canberra Times has tough talk from the ever growing educational hegemon of the University of Canberra.

Essentially they seem to have stopped playing nice with the CIT merger. They want the assets, they want to keep their own name, and if they don’t get it they plan to attack CIT’s market.

UC Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker has also used a submission to the ACT Government to deliver a backhander to the CIT, pointedly questioning its exemption from payroll tax, and calling for contestable funding for diplomas, bachelor and postgraduate qualifications if the merger is shelved and the two institutions go head-to-head in direct competition.

UC’s council finalised on Friday its formal response to Professor Denise Bradley’s review of the UC and CIT. The response was delivered to the ACT Government yesterday and will be made publicly available today.

In it, Professor Parker lists a primary demand of keeping the University of Canberra name. He also requested the ACT Government transfer an agreed list of CIT assets to the UC in a way which would prevent future governments clawing those assets back.

Professor Parker also wants Commonwealth and/or ACT Government funding to cover the cost of the merger, which he estimates will exceed $20 million.

The ACT Government has until November 30 to meet these, and other, conditions or Professor Parker said the UC would ”part company with the idea”, focusing instead on international student recruitment, operating in the new deregulated university system from next year, gaining a world ranking by 2018, and, ”generally on charting its own destiny”.

The elephant in the room is at some point in the near future the Harvards and Oxfords of the world are going to start offering online learning degrees globally. A bachelor of hairdressing (and similar) is going to be the only way for third tier universities to compete in the undergraduate market.

Any course that can be taught simply by listening, reading, and writing is going to be offered by far more attractive institutions, probably at a much lower price.

ANU is probably at even greater threat, but has never paid much attention to pesky undergraduates (the operators of UniLodge on the other hand might soon find themselves with a lot of empty real estate).

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milkman said :

Seems a shame how universities are just commoditised courses nowadays.

I think the research based universities, such as the ANU, the University of Melbourne etc. are still a little different. Although some PhD students also regard their research degree merely as a necessary qualification in their quest to become an academic, rather than as an important process of discovery. That is sad (and foolish).

It don’t suppose the UC has plans to close down the CIT in Reid and “re-locate” it to the UC campus at Bruce?
Gee, they could get a lot of money for the real estate at Reid. I can think of home units, another arboretum or a glassworks to compete with the ANU one in Kingston, another bicycle facility, futsal slab, station for the VFT, international helipad, an extra international convention centre, extension of the Canberra Centre, Actew gas fired power station etc. etc.
Like the oversupply of shopping centers in Canberra, there is an oversupply of tertiary education facilities. The CIT is sending the ACT Government broke – shut it down now.

Parker has obviously forgotten that the whole point of the consultation exercise is to achieve closer collaboration between the tertiary education institutions.

Seeing one of the country’s smallest universities trying to kick the local TAFE to death is not an example of a collaborative outcome.

Felix the Cat8:31 pm 27 Sep 11

I doubt if Uni Lodge would be too upset if there were no Uni students to rent their apartments too. They would just open them up to the general public and charge whatever the going rate is for a city apartment – probably at least double whatever the students are now being charged.

Seems a shame how universities are just commoditised courses nowadays.

“the ever growing educational hegemon of the University of Canberra.”

Training Hegemon would be more accurate.

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