The Government announced in May 2009 that it would provide $400 million over four years, commencing in 2010, to assist universities to prepare for the new operational requirements of a demand driven funding system which will have new quality measures.
The SAF will provide funding support to eligible institutions to enable them to make the significant structural changes necessary to operate in a demand driven funding system. This funding support will help institutions refocus their activities and missions in ways that will improve their long term sustainability and the quality of their teaching and learning.
These structural changes include the creation of new models of higher education institutions and formalised collaborations between higher education institutions and TAFE institutes.
In order to be considered for funding support, applications for structural adjustment projects must demonstrate that the project will contribute significantly to achievement of both of the following outcomes for the institution:
- Improved financial sustainability: institutions and campuses having the size, market alignment and agility necessary to be sustainable in a student demand driven funding environment; and
- Improved quality of teaching and learning provision: quality higher education provision regardless of student location and the mode of delivery of courses.
What is ‘structural adjustment’
For the purposes of the SAF, ‘structural adjustment’ means:
- consolidation of higher education institutions or campuses; and/or
- significant collaboration with TAFE institutes and/or other universities; and/or
- significant changes in the focus, organisation or operation of institutions or campuses; directed at achievement of the outcomes specified above.
Structural adjustment projects should not include recurrent expenditures unless expressly permitted by these guidelines.
SAF Stage 1 – Competitive funding round
On 19 July 2010, the SAF Program Administrative Guidelines were released and the competitive funding round opened. Applications for Step 1 of the competitive funding round closed on 8 September 2010.
To date, $6.9 million has been allocated under Step 1 of the competitive funding round while some universities have been invited to participate in Step 2 of that round.
- SAF Program Administrative Guidelines ( PDF 335KB | RTF 282KB)
Key dates for stage 1 – the competitive funding round:
|Funding round open||19 July 2010|
|Closing date for Step 1 applications||8 September 2010|
|Advice to applicants re shortlisting and invitation to submit Step 2 (EIF) application where required||9 March 2011|
|Closing date for Step 2 applications||20 April 2011|
|Advice to applicants regarding outcome of Step 2 applications||mid 2011|
SAF Stage 2 – Directed funding round
The Minister has directed DEEWR to invite a number of universities, which were unsuccessful in SAF Stage 1, to redevelop their unsuccessful application and apply for SAF funding in SAF Stage 2.
On 9 March 2011, the SAF Stage 2 Procedures and Instructions were released and the directed funding round opened.
Participation in SAF Stage 2 is by invitation only.
- SAF Stage 2 Procedures and Instructions ( PDF 496KB | RTF 4.0MB)
Key dates for Stage 2 – the directed funding round:
|Funding round open||9 March 2011|
|Closing date for DRAFT Stage 2 applications||20 April 2011|
|Closing date for Stage 2 applications (electronic copies)||1 June 2011|
|Closing date for Stage 2 applications (hard copies)||3 June 2011|
|Advice to applicants regarding outcome of Stage 2 applications||August/September 2011|