What does Education Minister, Christopher Pyne’s tertiary education reforms have to do with the NCAA’s 2014 surplus and revenue report?
I am not here to pronounce good or bad on the Minister’s reform agenda. It simply seems to me as a country, everyone wants their own piece of the pie (and a little bit more due to CPI), and are not concerned about all other groups who are doing the same thing.
In the end, there is only so much pie, and therefore there will be some who miss out totally, some who do not get the piece they wanted and others who might get a touch more than they asked.
In all cases, it should be incumbent upon each group to understand that the ‘government pie’ is only so big, and unless the government uses a new recipe to increase the size of the pie, then each group needs to become more creative and problem solving of its specific dilemmas.
For Universities to provide the ongoing tertiary needs of the Australian population, this group have embarked individually and collectively on various strategies to supplement its piece of the ‘government pie’.
One significant area it has overlooked is the value proposition that sport offers.
The NCAA provides proof that sport can work.
It can be profitable directly, albeit there are greater numbers at many of the Universities in USA.
However, some of the other benefits of sport to the sustainability of a university landscape are –
- the provision of a ready-made conduit to the vast alumni of each University
- a very visible medium to promote universities to a regional, national and global campus
- an ability to attract outstanding teaching, coaching and research programs to a university
It is time for Universities to put sport on the agenda to discuss how tertiary education can benefit from working collaboratively with sport for mutual long term benefits.
No matter what government policy, funding program, or immediate strategies are in vogue, sport can assist universities to become less dependent on government agendas of the day.