Unis Urged to Create a Philanthropic Culture
23 October 2006 at 1:10 pm
Australian universities need to seriously consider ways of attracting more donations from graduates and the corporate sector and push to create a greater culture of philanthropy according to the Federal Government.
The Howard Government has set up a $200,000 study to investigate strategies to assist the development of a culture of philanthropy towards Australian universities.
The study will be undertaken by the Business, Industry and Higher Education Collaboration Council (BIHECC), an advisory body trying to increase collaboration between the higher education sector, the business sector and the wider community.
The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop says the council is working on a number of initiatives to ensure high quality educational standards in the university sector and better links with business and industry.
In particular, she has asked BIHECC to investigate how to develop a stronger culture of philanthropy towards Australian universities.
She says that in countries such as the United States, philanthropy provides a substantial additional revenue stream for universities that further supports institutions in pursuit of excellence.
The Minister says this initiative will look at best practice overseas and develop strategies suitable for Australian conditions.
Minister Bishop says donations and bequests represent a very small proportion of Australian higher education revenue ($171 million or 1.27% of total revenue in 2004).
The BIHECC, established in 2004, is focussing on developing strategies to encourage greater business/industry involvement in the higher education sector, facilitating partnerships between universities and improving the responses of higher education to skills shortages.
The terms of Reference for the inquiry are:
BIHECC requires the provision of services to conduct research and analysis into philanthropic giving in the higher education sector.
Australia compares poorly to leading countries such as the USA and Canada in terms of philanthropic revenue for higher education institutions. A number of reviews of funding for Australian higher education institutions have suggested that universities should look to increasing their philanthropic effort to provide an additional revenue stream but that the development of a culture of philanthropy to universities requires facilitation.
To develop a culture of philanthropic giving to universities and to establish a set of national best practice guidelines.
This research and analysis should take into account findings from current educational philanthropy activity nationally and internationally and will involve:
– identifying how universities currently engage with potential donors, including alumni;
– consulting with key stakeholders including universities, business, state government, university development professional offices and peak philanthropic bodies to review and identify best practice nationally and internationally;
– developing a set of national best practice guidelines;
– identifying practical, cost effective options that will assist universities to become more strategic in their fundraising;
– identifying ways of building a culture of philanthropy;
– identifying possible areas of legal reform to facilitate establishment and management of university endowments;
– examining the role of a higher education philanthropy foundation in increasing philanthropy universities and identifying possible models;
– identifying the impact of recommended approaches on the higher education sector; and
– providing a cost/benefit analysis of the options identified.
No reporting date has been set.