Higher education commission has been a central feature of the Abbott government’s education policies.
Its chief commissioner, Ian Macdonald, has been appointed to the commission and has already overseen major changes in the way higher education is funded.
His predecessor, Michael Maguire, was forced out after just two months.
Macdonald has also announced plans to scrap the National Union of Students, which is a key partner of the commission.
It is understood the government intends to replace it with a new organisation, the Australian Institute of Educational Research, that will work with universities to develop curricula and other research, rather than be independent.
But the Australian Federal Government will also be funding the commission, with a budget of $60 million over five years.
As well as making a series of cuts, the government has also promised to abolish the Australian Higher Education Commission and move to a model of public sector funded higher education.
What will the commission do?
The commission is expected to make several recommendations for the future of higher education, including increasing the number of students from 15 to 25 and a return to the merit and diversity system.
Among other things, it will examine how Australian higher education institutions are providing students with the best opportunities to succeed.
The commission will also examine how students from disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities, and people with mental health conditions are represented.
How much money will the government be spending?
A review of the education system is due to be published by the government in July.
A report from the commission is due later this year.
However, the most likely outcome is that the commission will recommend that the Australian Education Union and the Australian Council of Social Service Boards should be merged into the Australian College of Higher Education.
This would make the two bodies a single body with more powers.
Currently, the ACU and CSBS work independently.
The government has indicated it will also abolish the AECOSB, a body set up to give state and territory universities greater autonomy.
Do you know more?
The Age has contacted the Department of Education for comment.
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