INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tertiary Sector Efficiency Study Announced

Published: Tue 7 Aug 2001 03:41 PM
Ways to gain greater efficiencies across the tertiary education sector are to be identified in a new study announced by Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey today.
Mr Maharey said that the $500,000 study will investigate ways to gain efficiencies by sharing best practice amongst providers. This will include looking at:
- collaborative strategies including shared services, innovation, course delivery/design and export education initiatives and how they might contribute to enhanced performance;
- quality assurance and improvement measures (focusing on students, teaching, learning outcomes and research/development); and,
- activity based costing models.
Mr Maharey said there was considerable value in identifying how individual institutions have been able to improve the efficiency of their operations and for this information to be shared widely across the sector.
"The efficiency study will identify best practice throughout the tertiary sector. Individual insitutions will be actively encouraged to adopt good practice which has been demonstrated to enhance academic, research or financial performance.
"In addition, the study will also assist tertiary institutions to develop collaborative strategies through working together, and with industry sectors and Crown Research Institutes.
"It is anticipated that several working parties will be established to oversee and carry out the work of the study. Members will be drawn from the tertiary sector, supplemented by external representatives, with support provided by the Ministry of Education," Steve Maharey said.
Significant progress has been made in the last decade in improving the efficiency of the sector. This is not to say, however, that these lessons have been as widely absorbed as possible. Some institutions have made significant strides in some areas but not in others. A $500,000 efficiency study will therefore be undertaken in the 2002/03 financial year.
The focus of the efficiency study will be to gain efficiencies through diagnosing and sharing best practice throughout the sector. There is value that can be added by sharing different experiences, and this will provide a further opportunity for the sector to act in an efficient, collaborative and co-operative manner to improve performance. The activities of the study may include investigating:
- Collaborative strategies including shared services, innovation, course delivery/design and export education initiatives and how they might contribute to enhanced performance;
- Quality assurance and improvement measures (this should focus on students, teaching, learning outcomes and research/development); and
- Activity based costing models.

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