Michelle Lensink

Carnegie Mellon University

I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, representing the Minister for Education, a question about the proposed Carnegie Mellon private university.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: There have been a number of articles in the papers, and I also note the Premier’s statement in the House of Assembly yesterday, in relation to the proposed university. I would like to quote from some of the articles. An article which appeared in The Australian of Wednesday 3 November stated:

The new entity, which will offer post-graduate degrees in business and public administration from 2006, was aimed at diverting overseas post-graduate students away from US universities to Adelaide. But Mr Rann said he expected it would not drain the foreign student market share of the city’s other universities. The university will be privately run but it is expected the South Australian and federal governments will subsidise it.

I emphasise that word ‘subsidise’. Another article in The Australian of Monday 1 November stated:

. . . Carnegie Mellon executives visited Adelaide and it is understood some form of financial contribution was expected from the state and federal governments for the scheme to be a success.

Details on the plan remained sketchy yesterday and South Australia’s three publicly funded universities remained lukewarm.

. . A spokesman for the University of South Australia said it was pleased the government had turned its back on a plan mooted in 2002 to combine the three universities.

The Sunday Mail of 31 October refers to this issue and an article states:

The unique thing about Carnegie Mellon is it will offer students in our state, interstate and overseas. . . an opportunity to get a US post-graduate degree.

An article in The Advertiser of 6 November states:

Carnegie Mellon is unlikely to open a campus here. Instead, two of its affiliate schools, the Heinz School and iCarnegie, will offer their respective courses in public administration and computer science.

A number of these facts were confirmed in the Premier’s statement yesterday, when he said:

It is vital that South Australia dramatically improves its performance in attracting overseas students. South Australia’s share of overseas students has been dropping in recent years, and the most recent data shows that the state had 3.8 per cent of national enrolments compared to 7.8 per cent of Australia’s population. The new university, with its ability to offer US degrees, will help attract overseas students who would not have otherwise come here and position Adelaide as a leading international city of three strong public universities and an internationally recognised world-class private university. . . the state will, subject to outcomes of a feasibility study, back the newuniversity. . . It is anticipated that the new university will have a special focus on disciplines such as public administration, business management, economics and commerce, international studies and information technology, as well as, of course, computer science.

My questions are:

1. Does the minister acknowledge that the three existing universities already provide courses in all those disciplines?

2. How will the minister guarantee that there will not be any duplication from this new university?

3. Will the minister rule out any subsidies from the South Australian government; and, if not, will this be in conflict with the government’s stated position that it does not subsidise business welfare?

4. Will the minister guarantee that the branding of the Carnegie Mellon school will be associated with this new university?

5. What has been the role of Education Adelaide?

6. Are the Premier’s statements yesterday, in which he said that South Australia’s share of overseas students has been dropping, an indictment on Education Adelaide?

7. Was Education Adelaide consulted?

8. What will be the cost of the feasibility study?

The Hon. T.G. ROBERTS (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation): I will refer all those questions to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.

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