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August 11, 2008 | by  | in News |
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$95 million govt fund for uni investment launched – Keg party at Walshie’s!

The government has launched a multi-million dollar fund for tertiary education institutions (TEIs), aimed at helping to fund capital investments within the institutions.

The Capital Fund, as it is known, consists of a $95 million fund, contestable between TEIs, to be distributed over a three-year period. According to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), the fund was established to add transparency and efficiency to future capital investment by moving “from a largely case-by-case approach to one that considers proposals in light of the needs of the entire sector”.

Any TEI wishing to gain funding for investment in purchasing fixed capital assets such as a new building or programme is required to pass a two stage process for authorisation. Firstly, the TEI must prepare an initial proposal to be approved by a Capital Fund Panel, appointed by the Minister of Tertiary Education and consisting of two TEC commissioners, three nominees from the tertiary sector, and three experts in certain areas such as capital asset management.

The TEIs are required to outline how their proposal “is in line with its [investment] priorities for the future…and also national priorities for tertiary education and training.”

Recommended proposals will then be referred to the TEC Board of Commissioners, chosen in terms of priority and suitability and forwarded to the Minister. Once the Minister and Cabinet have decided which proposals they consider appropriate investments, successful TEIs will be asked to develop a full business case before funding is allocated.

Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh says the Fund’s approach will not cause a major change to the way the University current operates. “Where Victoria works in partnership with other tertiary institutions we will consider making an application for major strategic projects which require capital investment.”

The Capital Fund Panel is expected to be established in late September.

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