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Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Page: 5171


Senator CARR (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) (12:59 PM) —Senator Mason, the arrangements as outlined by the government are essentially a relationship between the Commonwealth and the university as an institution. The university is required to certify that it has met its obligations under legislation enacted which authorises the payment of moneys. Those principles apply whether it is in a research area, a teaching area or any other areas in which the grants are made by the Commonwealth to the university as an institution.

The regulation of individual student behaviour is a matter for the university—they have to sign off that there has been compliance. It is not the Commonwealth’s role to establish the behaviour of individual students. Nearly a million people are enrolled in universities in any given year across the country, and that has been increasing for some time. The Commonwealth does not seek and has never sought, in my long involvement in this industry, to identify a personal relationship with each of those students other than through the HECS arrangements that are made and any other contractual arrangements between the Commonwealth and those students, through the taxation system. It would be inappropriate for that pattern to be changed in this legislation. The relationship is between the Commonwealth and the institution.