Monday, 16 October 2017

How Melbourne's west was greened


View of Melbourne from Kings Domain. Image via Getty. 
Casey Furlong, RMIT University; Jago Dodson, RMIT University, and Kath Phelan, RMIT University
This article is part of a series, Healthy Liveable Cities, in the lead-up to the Designing Healthy Liveable Cities Conference in Melbourne on October 19 and 20.

Urban greening projects in Melbourne’s west are contributing to making the region cooler, more pleasant and healthier to live in and travel through. The key to this success is the Greening the West initiative. Since 2011 this has brought together 23 organisations that, by the end of 2018, will have collectively planted more than 1 million trees in Melbourne’s west.

The program’s efforts not only offer clear health and economic benefits for the region’s residents, but are also welcome news in the face of reports that tree canopy cover in Australian cities is generally declining.

Further reading: We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?

Our recent report on Greening the West has found that, while it is a great success, much more work is needed – particularly from the Victorian government.

What is Greening the West?


Urban greening provides a variety of economic, mental and physical health benefits to the public. Greening an area can increase house prices, encourage walking and cycling, and make people feel happier.

Measures of socioeconomic and health status are generally poorer in Melbourne’s west.

Compounding this disadvantage, the region has less quality green space than metropolitan averages. Melbourne’s western suburbs have tree canopy coverage of only 5% to 10%, compared to between 10% and 30% in the rest of the city’s suburbs.



Comparative levels of tree canopy cover (% of total area) in Melbourne’s local government areas. Where are all the trees?, Author provided

City West Water began the Greening the West initiative in 2011. The focus was on the local government areas of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham. As well as local councils, the steering committee includes community groups, water utilities, state government agencies and a variety of other actors.

An urban greening success story


Planted trees have made a clear difference to Melbourne’s west, where many of the trees can be seen from roads, train lines and houses. This visible difference, and its associated benefits, will become more apparent as trees grow to maturity.

The group obtained A$5 million in funding from the federal government’s 20 Million Trees Program. Trees were then planted in parks, waterway corridors, drainage reserves and peri-urban land.
The Greening the West group supports two other important ongoing liveability projects in Melbourne’s west:
  • transforming a 1.2 kilometre section of Upper Stony Creek back from a concreted channel into a green waterway
  • transforming 27 kilometres of the heritage-listed main outfall sewer into a linear park and bike track connecting Werribee to the CBD, known as Greening the Pipeline.
As part of the latter project, a 100-metre pilot at Williams Landing was finished in April 2017. Melbourne Water delivered the project in partnership with Wyndham City Council, City West Water and VicRoads, with funding from the Victorian government.

A final Greening the West success is the way it has shifted priorities and cultures, with local government and other stakeholders increasingly recognising the benefits of greening.

The program shows the power of a collaborative model for solving complex urban problems. Such models could not only be rolled out for greening similar regions, like western Sydney, but are also applicable to other complex urban issues such as homelessness.

Planting and greening projects on public land are not enough


It isn’t all good news, however. We found that current efforts to achieve urban greening in Melbourne’s west are unlikely to be enough to reach desirable greening levels.

Most of these efforts are focused on greening public or semi-public land. However, in many areas, the majority of existing trees and tree canopy cover is on private land. As urban densification occurs, these tree numbers are declining.

This is why, despite urban greening efforts, canopy cover has decreased in most areas of Australia between 2013 and 2016. To protect and enhance urban greening, the Victorian government should investigate ways to strengthen policies and planning regulations. This should be done as part of Plan Melbourne’s urban greening actions.

For instance, regulations could require large-scale developers to include trees in new housing lots, parks and streets. Regulations could also be used to ensure small-scale subdividers and renovators include trees on lots.

Current Victorian planning regulations require a certain proportion of public open space in new suburbs, and for housing lots in certain zones to include 25-35% garden area. There is also some guidance on retaining existing trees on lots.

However, there are no state or citywide regulations requiring the planting of new trees and vegetation. This creates a significant risk in new developments that the lots, streets and public open space will have very low tree cover.

A small number of councils, such as Brimbank City Council, have led the way by creating local planning controls that require housing lots to have two trees in the front garden and one in the back garden. This is done through the planning permit process. But statewide or citywide regulations supported by the Victorian government are needed to ensure the protection and enhancement of urban greenery across Melbourne.

In addition, more community education and engagement are required to increase awareness of the many benefits of urban greening.


The ConversationThe Designing Healthy Liveable Cities Conference is being hosted by the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities in Melbourne on October 19-20. You can register here.

Casey Furlong, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University; Jago Dodson, Professor of Urban Policy and Director, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, and Kath Phelan, Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The changing face of education in the city


In1899 the College begins offering full-time courses in engineering and applied science. Teaching departments are developed including engineering, fitting and turning, metallurgy and mining, and chemistry.

This week, RMIT celebrates a milestone, completing an amazing learning precinct at the heart of our city campus on Swanston Street. 130 years since our foundation as a ‘Working Men’s College’, the face of education in Melbourne has changed almost beyond recognition. Tom Bentley tells the story.

Founded in 1887 by Francis Ormond as “un-sectarian, non-political, and open to wage earners of both sexes”, the Working Men's College motto of the "Skilled Hand and a Cultivated Mind"  endures more than a century later. 

RMIT is a global university of technology, design and enterprise, with more than 84,000 students in Melbourne and around the world.  

As our city has grown and transformed through the generations, education has evolved with it. Migration, war, booms and crashes, new challenges and technologies have all left their mark on the city, fueling new ideas and turning them into new ways to live and work.

Essential ingredient

Education is the essential ingredient in making these changes work for our community.
In each generation, the terms of participation shift to focus on the most urgent needs and the latest thinking.  Technology allows us to organise learning in new ways. 

After the Great War, the Working Men’s College offered classes to returned service personnel.
In the 1920s, the Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy was opened to teach domestic science - cooking, textiles and typing - to women.

In the 1930s the Working Men’s College became the Melbourne Technical College.

Crucial role

During the Second World War, "the Tech" - as it was known - played a crucial role in developing radar technology, training most of the RAAF’s communications officers, and manufacturing munitions and aeroplane parts for the Australian government. Our "Royal" moniker reflects this vital contribution.

In the post-war era, RMIT’s education broadened to include the skills demanded by a fully-employed manufacturing economy; alongside construction, electrical, plumbing, chemical and civil engineering, we created courses in accountancy, advertising, printing and food technology.

Our buildings and spaces also evolve, with new thinking and technology, shaping the city as they go.
RMIT now occupies some six per cent of Melbourne’s CBD, along with vibrant campuses in Brunswick and Bundoora, and partnerships across the world.

Shaping the city

In the 1960s, RMIT’s signature Swanston Street buildings were going up, creating the "grey ghosts" in which a generation of computer scientists and urban planners were taught.

RMIT’s urban campus has grown building by building, lane by lane, to include some of Victoria’s most important heritage sites, such as the old Melbourne Gaol precinct. Through the decades, leading-edge architectural designs have added new buildings to our footprint and transformed the spaces in between.

Indeed, RMIT-trained architects and planners have shaped the wider city in ways too numerous to mention, often returning both to teach new students, work with our researchers and to contribute to new building designs. 

Design thinking works hand in hand with innovation in construction materials, energy systems, project management and transport technologies to create new options for our urban infrastructure.
Now, in the 21st century, the evolution is occurring again.  The next generation of infrastructure investments, from the Melbourne Metro to the NBN, will connect people with new ways to live and work.

A knowledge-based economy

Swanston Street, already one of the world’s busiest tram corridors, will get new metro stations bringing fountains of talent from all over Melbourne to the jobs and learning opportunities of a knowledge-based economy.

RMIT teams are working on breakthrough technologies like the Hyperloop super-fast transport system, on construction safety, on autonomous vehicles and new approaches to traffic management.
They are redesigning the legal and social services that our changing communities need, and developing the health and disabilities workforce of the future.  

Alongside our full spectrum of vocational and higher education programs, we are building new ways to assess and accredit 21st century skills, so that learners at any stage of life can combine online learning with valuable experiences and opportunities.  

Building on a decades-long tradition, we are developing thousands of talented entrepreneurs and connecting them to skills and opportunities across Melbourne’s changing economy.

Talented learners

If you walk through our renewed campus, the energy created by these talented learners crackles in the air.  

Huge buildings once known as "grey ghosts" have been reshaped into a vibrant, publicly accessible spaces through which students, workers and visitors flow, sharing information, enjoying great food and coffee, making new connections in a world that is now drenched in knowledge. 

With our neighbours at the University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne, including the Queen Victoria Market, we have created an "urban innovation district" to make the most of a shared wealth of opportunities, and shape our city for the benefit of future generations.

Investing together in new technologies and infrastructure, and in the people who will create new value from them, is the best way to renew our city and our regional economy.  

The diversity of our population is one of our greatest strengths.  With the right kinds of education accessible to all, we can continue building a confident, resilient and forward-looking community. 

Tom Bentley is a writer and policy adviser based in Melbourne. He is Principal Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor at RMIT, where he leads the Policy and Impact Team. From 2007–13 he was Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief-of-Staff to Julia Gillard. From 1999–2006 he was Director of Demos, an independent think tank based in London.








Monday, 28 August 2017

On brand: how Australia's apartment frenzy echoes the 1870s cattle boom



Melbourne skyscrapers.

Stephen Banham
, RMIT University

Imagine in the years ahead that you were to come across a photograph of the Melbourne streetscape from 2017. Two things would immediately signify it as being from today – the number of cranes across the skyline and at street level, the construction hoardings glistening with glamourous promise.
Melbourne is now experiencing the most dramatic real estate boom in living history – this feverish development has seen 13,000 new apartments constructed each year for the past two years with plans for another 22,000 over the next few years.

And like that photograph of the 2017 streetscape, one can also take another kind of record, a typographic snapshot. Fonts can tell us something about a time and a place. Within the real estate industry, this is centred around branding – and more specifically those ubiquitous logos weaved throughout our urban landscape.

In an age when each individual building demands a logo as much as an address, and often these congeal (8 Breese, 85 Spring Street) or fill us with an aspiration to be somewhere else (West Village, Haus), the end result is a seemingly never-ending array of marks all jostling to dazzle us with their glamour and aspiration. But is this massive explosion of logos a new thing?

The clearest way to see any of these connections is to look across other periods of economic boom. The oversupply of livestock in the 1870s is one such time. During this period the plentiful supply of cattle necessitated that the ownership of herds be strongly signified and differentiated in the marketplace. At that time the most effective way to do this was through branding – quite literally, a hot iron branded seared into the rumps of the livestock.


Cattle branding, 1864. S. T. G./State Library of Victoria
By the latter half of the 19th century the simpler alphabetical brands had all been used up so the designs became increasingly complex and idiosyncratic. These plentiful livestock brands began to do odd things – letters would be turned upside down or flipped, there would be strange little icons of hats, anchors, fish, shields, glasses and other even more abstract shapes.

When placed alongside the embellished brands extolling the contemporary real estate boom, some strong design similarities become clear. It seems that the imperative to produce a distinct identity seems to bridge 140 years with ease. These design similarities hint at the underlying economic cycle, boom followed by bust.

The top line are real estate brands from 2016 whilst the bottom line are cattle brands from 1870. Apartment brands from left to right: Nest at the Hill (Doncaster); Queens Place (CBD); Reflections (North Melbourne); Capital Grand (South Yarra) Author provided


Who we are and want we want

The logos that festoon the hoardings across our streets tell us a great deal about who we are, and more specifically, what we want. Script typefaces (those based on handwriting) tell us that we are in an age where people yearn for the authentic, the handmade, a personal connection. The use of fonts, patterns and symbols as well as specific colours may offer us an insight into what cultural shorthand is being used to speak to many prospective buyers.

It is that supreme marker of modernity – sans serif fonts - that above all others expresses our shared contemporary notions of style and urbane aspiration. These fonts, such as “helvetica”, do not use the ornamental ends of letters that serif fonts, like the one you are reading on, include. We take in and process all of these factors in the split second that we consume a logo.

Logos, and the typefaces from which they are composed, have always spoken of the times we live in – including the reflection of economic and social patterns. The mechanised efficiencies of the early 20th century were met by a geometric simplicity in letterforms, whilst the 1970s sexual revolution coincidentally saw spacing between letterforms become very intimate, coupled as it was with the advent of phototypesetting, a process soon superseded by computers.

Booms have a habit of producing an oversupply. And this oversupply calls for some kind of unique differentiation. Differentiation calls for creativity. This is where branding comes in. Trying to tell a herd of cows apart in the 1870s is perhaps no easier than trying to differentiate the often generic architectural forms of apartment developments built today.



Brands of the cattle boom (black) contrasted with contemporary real estate (white)Author provided

The old marketing adage “the more generic the product, the more you differentiate by brand” certainly appears to be at work here. This is but one comparison across two localised economic booms but the same pattern could be expected to appear whenever there is an “over stimulation” in a highly crowded marketplace.

What this frenzy of logos does show us is that despite the world of brands being fixated on the “now” it too has a “then” – one that I am sure we will see again some time soon.

Stephen Banham, Lecturer in Typography, RMIT University
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Lack of internet affordability may worsen Australia’s digital divide: new report


Julian Thomas, RMIT University


We often think of the internet as a levelling, democratising technology – one that extends access to knowledge, education, cultural resources and markets.

But the net also reflects the social and economic divides we find offline.

Released this week, the second report of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) reports on data covering four years of local online participation across three dimensions: online access, digital ability and affordability. Together, the three dimensions produce a digital inclusion score.

Since 2014, when data was first collected, Australia’s overall digital inclusion score has improved by 3.8 points, from 52.7 to 56.5. In 2016–2017 alone, Australia’s score rose by 2.0 points, from 54.5 to 56.5.

But there is still a “digital divide” between richer and poorer Australians. In 2017, people in our lowest income households (less than A$35,000 per year) have a digital inclusion score of 41.1, which is 27 points lower than those in the highest income households (above A$150,000) at 68.1.


Read more: Three charts on the NBN and Australia’s digital divide


When the three dimensions are considered separately, the measures of access and digital ability show consistent improvement from 2014 to 2017. However, the affordability measure has registered a decline since the 2014 national baseline (despite a slight bump in the past 12 months).


Online access and digital ability have increased since 2014, but affordability has dropped. Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2017, Author provided


The cost of being connected


Affordability is a key dimension of digital inclusion.

Internet connectivity is important for accessing a wide range of education, government, health and business services. A decline in internet affordability means Australians on fixed or low incomes risk missing out on the benefits of digital technologies, and falling further behind more connected Australians.

The ADII shows that the cost of data — for both fixed and mobile internet — has declined over 2014-2017. These findings are in line with the ACCC’s ongoing monitoring of prices for telecommunications services, which indicate an average decline in real terms of 3.1% since 2006.
However, when we measure affordability, we are not only looking at the cost of data; we are also interested in what proportion of household income is being dedicated to this service.

The affordability problem with the internet is different from other key household services where there are price pressures, such as electricity and water. The residential consumption of energy has grown very slowly over the last decade, but prices have increased sharply.

With the internet, while we are now getting more data for our dollar, our demand for data has dramatically increased.

A recent report from the Commonwealth Bureau of Communications and Arts Research (BCAR) tracks the affordability of phone and internet use since 2006.

The BCAR report finds that, overall, phone and internet affordability has improved since 2006. However, their data also shows that almost all the gains occurred before 2013, and that, since then, affordability has declined or flat-lined. Further, BCAR’s data suggests that the lowest income households in Australia are now spending almost 10% of their incomes on internet and communications services. In contrast, middle income households are spending around 4% of their disposable income on these services, and for wealthier households, the figure is less than 2%.

Increasing reliance on mobile


Some recent and far-reaching changes in our use of technology are evident here: the extent to which the internet has become an integral part of everyday life, the fact that we are spending more time online, and we are doing an increasing range of activities online. In many households, we are also connecting with more devices.

However, the problem of affordability also reflects another recent development that the ADII highlights: one-in-five Australians now only accesses the internet through a mobile device — and we know that mobile data is considerably more expensive than fixed broadband on a per gigabyte basis.
Mobile-only use is correlated with a range of socioeconomic factors. The ADII data shows that people in low income households, those who are not employed, and those with low levels of education, are all more likely to be mobile-only.

Despite the benefits of mobile internet, this group is characterised by a relatively high degree of digital exclusion. In 2017, mobile-only users have an overall ADII score of 42.3, 14.2 points below the national average (56.5).


Digital inclusion is unequal


In the 2017 report, the ACT, followed by Victoria and New South Wales, are the highest scoring states in the overall digital inclusion score, as they were in 2016. Tasmania remains the lowest scoring, followed by South Australia.


Australia’s national digital inclusion score in 2017 is 56.5, but varies from state to state. Australian Digital Inclusion Index, Author provided

The lowest scoring socio-demographic groups in 2017 were households earning less than A$35,000 per year (overall score of 41.1), Australians aged over 65 (overall score of 42.9) and those with a disability (overall score of 47.0).


Read more: Regional Australia is crying out for equitable access to broadband


The ADII uses data derived from Roy Morgan Research’s ongoing, weekly Single Source survey of 50,000 Australians. These are extensive, face-to-face interviews, dealing with information and technology, internet services, attitudes, and demographics.

Calculations for the ADII are based on a sub-sample of 16,000 responses in each 12 month period. The index is a score out of 100: the higher the overall score, the higher the level of digital inclusion. An ADII score of 100 represents a hypothetically perfect level of access, affordability, and digital ability. A score of 65 or over is regarded as high; one below 45 as low.

A focus on improvement


An increasing number of Australians are online, but although the costs of data and devices are falling, there is a risk that issues of affordability will leave some of our most vulnerable behind.

Australians with low levels of income, education and employment are consistently less connected than the rest of the population, with consequences that will become increasingly serious as the digital transformation of government and the economy proceeds.

As an increasing number of essential services and communications move online, the challenge to make the Australian internet more inclusive is becoming more urgent. Affordability is a key area for attention, but so is improving Australians’ digital ability.

The issue of affordability suggests a range of possible areas for useful policy intervention. If we think it important to subsidise essential utilities such as electricity for low-income Australians, we may need to consider whether an allowance for internet access for essential services might also be necessary.

For the large number of lower-income Australians who rely entirely on mobile devices for internet connections, we will also need to consider new ways to support digital inclusion. These could include unmetered access to essential health and social services, and the further development of secure, public access wi-fi.

Julian Thomas, Director, Social Change Enabling Capability Platform, RMIT University
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Is Singapore the world’s education laboratory?


The city-state’s education reforms could be a window into the future.

Andrew MacIntyre takes a look at how an ageing population and slow growth is driving dramatic education reform in Singapore – with fascinating results. 

Governments in many countries are talking about reforming their education systems to better equip graduates seeking work and to provide business with the skilled labour force for which it cries out.
Whether in Australia or Britain, India or Indonesia there are earnest declarations about the pressing need to ensure education systems serve social and economic imperatives more effectively.

In most cases, the rhetoric is not matched with consequential reform action.

Singapore is a fascinating exception. It has launched a dramatic drive to reshape its post-secondary education system.

The reform push is not a passing thing: Singapore is taking these bold policy steps because it is being squeezed by demographic decline and sustained weak economic growth.

More on this: The ABC of Singapore's educational achievements


The demographic challenge is severe. Singapore is very rapidly becoming a ‘super-aged’ society. Other countries are grappling with the problem of an ageing society, but the change in Singapore is coming about very much faster than elsewhere. And strong public opposition to large-scale immigration means that simply importing more foreign workers is not an electorally tolerable option.

These demographic pressures have been brought sharply into focus by the country’s uncharacteristic encounter with prolonged sluggish economic performance. Last year GDP growth was at its lowest and the unemployment rate was at its highest since the global financial crisis.

This amalgam of pressures, supplemented by the universal concerns about technological disruption and anti-globalisation, has yielded remarkable governmental focus and resolve.

In March, a top-level task force – the Committee on the Future Economy – delivered a comprehensive set of strategies, including education policy, to reposition the economy. It is an extraordinarily ambitious exercise in national planning.

Exceptionally high investment in support of elite universities has been a distinctive feature of Singapore’s education strategy for many years but what is striking about this reform is its emphasis on applied education and skills training.

A new super-entity – SkillsFuture Singapore – has been created to guide people at all stages of their career with targeted education and skills programs, and to work closely with industry bodies to ensure alignment.

Applied universities and polytechnics have been given a major boost. There is a shift in emphasis from exhorting people to pursue academic distinction, to encouraging work-relevant learning and the need for continual reskilling.

And all Singaporeans over 25 have been given a S$500 credit to support the pursuit of (approved) programs.

Many academic institutions around the world resist the idea that the core role of a university is to prepare students for employment. But in Singapore, this idea is being given a sharper edge.

I take a keen interest in this because my university has a very long-standing commitment to Singapore. But anyone interested in future trends in higher education should pay attention because Singapore provides a window on the future.

Simply put, Singapore is now at the forefront of education policy innovation. Arguably, it has become the world’s leading ‘laboratory’ for bold education policy experiments.

Will this push work? Certainly, Singapore has the political capability and budgetary resources to launch a systematic campaign of this sort. But after listening to a visiting senior Singapore official outline the changes, I found myself mulling on several questions.

Will, for example, the parents of school leavers look past traditional considerations of academic prestige?

How will students off all ages and stages respond to these sweeping plans and inducements?

And how will universities and other education providers, along with employers themselves behave?

Stay tuned. And watch the policy experiment play out.

This piece was first published by Andrew MacIntyre on LinkedIn.




This piece was first published at Policy Forum, Asia and the Pacific’s platform for public policy analysis and opinion. Read the original here: https://www.policyforum.net/singapore-worlds-education-laboratory/

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A brief comparison of Australian and Turkish universities: The case of RMIT and METU

Image via @metu_odtu on Instagram

By Aylin Turgut-Ecevit
As a part of Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility staff mobility program, and thanks to an exchange agreement between my university (Middle East Technical University [METU], in Ankara, Turkey) and RMIT, I’ve had the great opportunity of spending two weeks on Melbourne City campus.
My first impression about RMIT before coming here was how big it was. But soon after I came, I realised that it is beyond my estimations.
As I am working full-time as a part of the press office at METU, my main goal was picking the brains of the central Communications team. Thankfully, they welcomed me as soon as I arrived and they helped me gain insight into RMIT, linking me to other communications and marketing units across the University, and giving me the opportunity to present on the higher education system in Turkey and at METU.
My journey started with a brief City campus tour and it really impressed me a lot. Bringing different architectural styles together without crowding each other out, aesthetic usage of shapes and colours, especially in recreational and study areas created and designed for students – those are the physical elements that fascinated me.
I have learnt about how things are done at RMIT related to marketing and communications, and thanks to various marketing teams within different departments had some useful ideas about improving METU’s strengths in these areas.
Overall, as far as I can see, there are differences as well as similarities between the two universities. If we start with the student populations, we are nearly half the size of RMIT, comparing the main campuses. (We have a graduate school campus in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, namely Mersin/Erdemli and an overseas campus in Northern Cyprus other than our main campus in Ankara.)
Second, we have a totally different system in the area of domestic recruitment. We have a central exam system, and school leavers in Turkey choose on the basis of the scores they get in a national two-stage exam. If their score is enough to be enrolled in one of their choices, they are placed in a university and program by the central system. So, we can’t recruit our domestic students on our own.
Another difference is on the operational side. METU has a central communications office. Each and every department is in contact with this office. In other words, we don’t have different communications or marketing offices that handle work locally.
Instead, they’re sending their requests about making a video, designing a poster for an upcoming event, submitting press releases, etc. to our “Corporate Communications Office”.
In short, instead of every department operating their own marketing and communications, everything is centralised.
This isn’t to criticise, because both systems have their own pros and cons (for instance; decentralisation provides more creativity and independence, a central body ensures corporate brand management).
One other difference depends on the completely different education sectors. Our higher education system is still nearly completely free. If you are an undergraduate student, and if you finish your degree within the normal time-period (four to six years according to the Department of Higher Education) you pay nothing in tuition.
You need to pay a nominal fee only if you prolong your study period. So, our university needs to generate income by other means in order to provide a better service for the students. We do this through collaboration with industry and other sources of research funding. At METU, research revenues account for more than 35 per cent of all university expenditures annually (including all payroll costs).
To sum up, due to the distinctive features of both secondary and higher education systems in the two countries, there are various approaches to domestic recruitment and communications. They both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Observing different kinds of applications within similar institutions, as I did here in the RMIT, can provide in-depth analysis and allow us to identify possible progress for both systems.