Higher Education

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 387–411 | Cite as

Using Entrepreneurial Activities as a Means of Survival: Investigating the Processes used by Australian Universities to Diversify their Revenue Streams



This study provides a profile of the actions taken by Australian universities to diversify their revenue streams in order to generate more independent (non-government) income. Marginson’s taxonomy of Australian universities is used to catergorise universities and contrast levels of independent income (Marginson and Considine 2000). This study finds that some Australian universities have used isomorphic tactics in their attempts to diversify their revenue streams. Unitechs (Universities of Technology) and New Universities are over-reliant upon income earned from overseas student fees, whilst earning comparatively small amounts of revenue from Royalties, Trademarks and Licences, Consultancy, Contract Research and Investments. This work discusses the dangers inherent in over-reliance on a single type of independent income. It argues that if Australian universities seek to enhance their success competing in global research, staff and student markets then they need to augment efforts to diversify revenue streams with structural and cultural changes, transforming themselves from being rigid hierarchical public bureaucracies to become more flexible network enterprises (Castells 2000).


diversity revenue streams entrepreneurialism marketisation public universities 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Higher EducationUniversity of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia

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