Are the students revolting?

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I’ve had a few exchanges with neo­clas­si­cal econ­o­mists recent­ly via the East Asia Forum blog, whose edi­tor approached me to write  a ver­sion of my “What a load of Bol­locks” post on this site. That piece “Why neo­clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics is dead”, cri­tiqued an East Asia Forum post “The state of eco­nom­ics” by neo­clas­si­cal text­book authors McTag­gart, Find­lay and Parkin.

A reply to my arti­cle by Ade­laide Uni­ver­si­ty’s Richard Pom­fret, enti­tled “Too soon for obit­u­ar­ies: eco­nom­ics is alive and (rea­son­ably) well”, con­clud­ed with the fol­low­ing state­ment:

Why have the Liberals got it in for business students?

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This is anoth­er non-debt post. I’ve just heard Costel­lo describe tonight’s bud­get as an “Edu­ca­tion Bud­get”. There was a wel­come “equi­ty” bequest to uni­ver­si­ties, to fund infra­struc­ture and research: but there was also a shal­low “shell and pea” trick in the allo­ca­tion of fund­ing for Uni­ver­si­ty places.

The com­pli­cat­ed CGS band­ing system–which deter­mines what the Gov­ern­men­t pro­vides per stu­dent, and varies depend­ing on the dis­ci­pline being studied–is being ratio­nalised from 14 bands to 7. In 6 of those new bands, the amount being giv­en in 2008 is slight­ly more than the high­est amount giv­en to the pre­vi­ous bands. For instance, the four bands of Maths, Behav­iour­al Sci­ences, Edu­ca­tion and Com­put­ing are being amal­ga­mat­ed into one band; the high­est fund­ing lev­el per stu­dent in 2007 was $8,057 for Com­put­ing, and the low­est $5,381 for Maths; the new fund­ing lev­el is $8,217–a 2% rise for Com­put­ing, and a 52% increase for Maths.