University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis has welcomed assurances from the Federal Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, that all current undergraduate students, as well as those starting in 2018, will not be affected by proposed changes to the funding of commonwealth supported places (CSP).

Professor Davis said the University had been assured that the same number of graduate CSPs will be available for these students as are available this year.   

“This pledge from the Federal Government ensures the Melbourne Curriculum is protected in the short term,” Professor Davis said.

“Transition into mainstream funding after 2019 will be worked out jointly, and the Minister has committed to regard the integrity of the Melbourne Model.

“In the Minister’s words, this approach will allow a relatively early transition to demand driven arrangements for bachelor places, and full participation in postgraduate scholarship arrangements.

“This is welcome news for our students and for those contemplating enrolment at Melbourne next year. These students can continue to access the many benefits of the Melbourne Curriculum.” 

Professor Davis said that, looking to the longer term, the University community must think carefully about the implications of regulatory changes.

“The government has signalled plans to make university funding more contestable, more subject to market forces,” he said.

“This should spark a debate about how higher education is funded in this nation. I urge colleagues to add their voices to this important discussion about guaranteeing a university system that can serve this nation well.”