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ERIC Number: EJ802708
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0819-4564
An Application of Elementary Functions to a Resource Allocation Problem
Nillsen, Rodney
Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, v22 n1 p29-35 2008
In 1998, the West Report on tertiary education considered proposals for changing the proportion of funds given to universities on the basis of two criteria: research and teaching. An article by David Phillips, a former Head of the Higher Education Division of the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, on the consequences of implementing these options, appeared in "The Australian" newspaper (West, 1998 & Phillips, 1998). Phillips considered the implications of increasing the total amount allocated to universities for research (called the "research quantum"). Assuming that the totality of funding to the universities for combined teaching and research purposes remained constant, this would have meant that the total allocation to the universities for teaching would have had to decrease. Mathematically, the problem considered by Phillips is one of resource allocation and analysing the changes and their implications when the resource allocation procedure is changed. This paper considers the original problem from a general and mathematical viewpoint, potentially applicable to problems other than the original one considered by Phillips. There is a changing environment in the allocation of resources in public policy, with more emphasis on allocating funds, status or recognition on the basis of specific criteria and performance. Even where the analysis in this paper is not directly applicable to all such problems, the modes of thought used here may illustrate the potential usefulness of mathematical thinking for general issues of public policy and resource allocation. (Contains 1 figure.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia