In the US and Australia, two very different higher education reform initiatives are playing out in two very different ways. In the US, President Barack Obama recently expanded a programme that enables borrowers to cap their federal student loan repayments at 10 per cent of their monthly income.

By contrast, Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, is proposing to remove caps on tuition fees. What’s more, he wants to raise interest rates on student loans and lower the income threshold at which graduates are required to begin repayment.

But strikingly, neither plan takes advantage of the remarkable paradigm shift under way in higher education today. New teaching and learning innovations offer the possibility to help resolve the great challenges facing higher education, including the pressing challenge of cost.