A RECURRING theme amid the plethora of national reviews of aspects of higher education is that there are too many universities in this country.
It is usually a theme trotted out by those who are in some way aligned with the older sandstone universities.
The arguments are transparent: a reduction in the total number would, of course, enable concentration of more resources, especially for research, into 10 or fewer large universities in capital cities.
They are arguments that have scant regard for the national interest and particularly for prospective students in the regions.
The regions would end up with fewer opportunities than city students, who already populate universities in twice the proportion to their regional counterparts.
The more recent arguments advanced for concentration are reflected in the advocacy of system models, for example, as in the US where there are stratified systems, with feeder community colleges and different kinds of universities.
That system has developed gradually in the US for as long as their system of higher education has been evolving. …