The Australian higher education sector will increasingly operate like a ’consumer-driven’ market, introducing new demands and risks.
Over the next five years, the Australian higher education sector is expected to undergo major change as the Bradley review recommendations are progressively implemented. One of the key elements of the reform agenda is the move to a demand-driven funding model, thus imposing greater dependence of universities on the power of student choice.
Our view is that the sector will increasingly operate like a consumer-driven market, introducing new demands and risks for higher education institutions. To test this view, we conducted an industry-wide study of the key drivers of student choice, the competitive performance of universities, and institutional responses to the introduction of demand-driven funding.
We interviewed 20 executives from seven Victorian universities, including three dual-sector universities, and conducted a survey of 1,000 students on the drivers of choice. Our study has provided important insights on the potential future state of the Australian higher education sector.
Our findings and views have crystallised around five key points: