education minister dan tehan
Minister for Education Dan Tehan

While the government has given the university sector a lifeline with its Easter funding announcement, the opportunity presented by the pandemic crisis for a fundamental reset in our thinking about higher education and how it is funded risks going begging in a desire to perpetuate the status quo ante of reliance on foreign students.

In a slightly surreal announcement on Sunday, Education Minister Dan Tehan announced the government would be giving to the sector the amount of funding it had already committed to via the Commonwealth Grants Scheme and Higher Education Loan Program funding, based on domestic student numbers.

That will provide a funding base for universities for the year ahead.