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Proposed Tax on Universities by Tertiary Heads Pan

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According to Monash University President, the proposed Higher Education Future Fund is deemed as a costly, complicated, and cumbersome tax on our world-class universities.

Various top-ranking universities in Australia have expressed their disapproval of a government proposal to establish a $10 billion (US$6.6 billion) higher education fund, claiming it would impose a “bureaucratic tax” on universities and jeopardize their global reputation.

This criticism comes after the release of a 400-page Universities Accord report (pdf) by the federal government, outlining a reform roadmap aimed at enhancing the country’s higher education system for the betterment and fairness.

One of the recommendations in the report was the creation of the $10 billion Higher Education Future Fund (HEFF) funded by contributions from the federal government and universities.

The management of the fund is proposed to be handled by the Future Fund Board of Guardians, a corporate body responsible for overseeing the investments of Australian Government investment funds.

The Board intends to utilize the returns generated by the fund to invest in high education projects, such as the construction and maintenance of learning and teaching infrastructure, with guidance from an independent panel.

It was suggested in the report that each university’s contribution would be determined based on their financial capacity, meaning wealthier educational institutions would be required to contribute more.

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