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Review of University Reporting Requirements

Commonwealth Department of Education and Training

In April 2013 a PhillipsKPA report into the reporting requirements of universities, commissioned by the LH Martin Institute, was publically released. In December 2013 the Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced that all 27 recommendations of the report would be implemented.

The review centred on universities’ reporting requirements to the then Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE) and analysed the time spent and recurring costs involved in reporting to the Department. The review found that on average, individual Australian universities spent between $800,000 to $900,000 and over 2,000 working days to gather the required information for 18 data sets. The costs range from a high of $30 for every $1,000 in funding to a minimum of around $0.2 for every $1,000 in funding.

The report’s recommendations included:

  • developing a new model for reporting requirements including a national higher education data collection and information repository to consolidate data reporting requirements to operate within the Department;
  • the Department listing all its reporting requirements and those of related agencies that seek regular information from universities;
  • the Department, Universities Australia and individual universities developing ways to enhance government understanding of higher education through training, workshops and staff exchanges; and the Department developing standardised templates for reporting requirements.

Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia, commented that ‘PhillipsKPA has done an excellent job within the constraints imposed by the terms of reference.'

A copy of the full report can be obtained here. The government's response can be viewed here.