Journal article

Beautiful Lies, Damned Statistics: Reframing How Australian University Finances are Compared with the OECD

Geoff Sharrock

Higher Education Policy | PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD | Published : 2018


In higher education funding debates, Australia has been ranked ‘second last in the OECD’ for its public investment in universities. Yet such comparisons overlook particular features of the Australian situation. Five general problems with the ‘second-last’ narrative are examined. Many interpretations of OECD statistics overstate the Australian under-funding case and raise questions of relevance in domestic funding debates. Flawed comparisons drawn from OECD data do not appear to be confined to Australian commentary.