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ERIC Number: EJ1094088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-2110
A Model for Considering the Financial Sustainability of Learning and Teaching Programs: Concepts and Challenges
De Bellis, David
Journal of Institutional Research, v17 n1 p51-59 Oct 2012
The expansion of tertiary education, an intensity of focus on accountability and performance, and the emergence of new governance and management structures drives an economic fiscal perspective of the value of learning and teaching. Accurate and meaningful models defining financial sustainability are therefore proposed as an imperative for tertiary institutions in order to determine the long-term feasibility of learning programs. "When there's only so much sunshine each day--where should the light be shone?" Well, at risk of allowing pure economic rationalism dictate which learning programs thrive and survive in the "winter sun", institutions should understand that an adjustment to classic models of financial sustainability are necessary by acknowledging educational value. That is, these kinds of adjusted models require methods for quantifying three main elements in the learning production environment--educational value, costs, and revenue. There is an inevitable complexity in describing and quantifying all three of these elements in the context of a university learning environment. This paper introduces the concept of a learning program financial sustainability model (suggested by Bill Massy), an outline of possible approaches to quantifying its three essential elements (educational value, cost, and revenue), and some of the challenges confronting planners with responsibility for its form and operationalisation. For the particular interest of those staff involved in student load modelling, finance, teaching and learning quality, pedagogy, and performance management. [This paper was first presented at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Institutional Research, "Let the sunshine in," Gold Coast, 9-11 November 2011.]
Australasian Association for Institutional Research. 546 Gallymont Road, Mandurama, NSW 2792, Australia. +61-2-6367-5347; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A