Universities await review

UNIVERSITY of Western Sydney staff and students await the results of two federal government reviews that may impact higher education funding.

Vice-chancellor Barney Glover said both the commission of audit called to assess all Commonwealth spending and a review of the demand-driven system of university funding were under way.

"A demand-driven system with strong growth does place some challenges on government outlays to fund the Commonwealth-supported places that are required to meet that increased demand for higher education," Professor Glover said.

"Students are under enormous pressure financially in higher education and this university, along with all others in the sector, advocated very strongly against the $2.8 billion in cuts that were announced by the former Labor government.

"The delay in the legislation to enact some of the efficiency dividends and other changes . . . is a deferral of some of those cuts rather than any suggestion they won't occur."

Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said the organisation supported the demand-driven system and looked forward to working with the review team to better understand its impact.

"This includes ensuring that existing and future labour market needs are met and that ability is the only relevant criteria to those with a desire to study at university," Ms Robinson said.

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