The reforms will help ensure that the state’s public universities remain successful in a rapidly evolving national and international education market.
Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said that universities needed the flexibility to manage their financial and commercial activities as self-reliant institutions.
The reforms will also allow university governing bodies to approve their own commercial guidelines within existing frameworks, and remove requirements that seek approval for the:
- Governor, on the recommendation of the Treasurer, to borrow funds
- Treasurer, on the recommendation of the Minister for Education, to appoint funds managers
- Minister for Education to sell, mortgage or lease university land other than land obtained from the government at less than market value.
University audit and annual reporting requirements are unaffected by the legislation, which will ensure appropriate checks and balances are maintained.
Mr Piccoli said the combined annual turnover of NSW’s public universities is more than $7.5 billion, and he emphasised that appropriate accountability mechanisms will remain.