Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

The wait continues

Monday, July 18 2016

It is fair to say that there is not much new news around this week.

Another week yes but there is still no certainty.

We have a government but await the announcement of the Ministries.

Perhaps a key desire is that after the portfolios are announced we can get continuity. That will help in planning the way ahead.

All elements of our sector look forward to working on a genuine long term reform agenda. It is time for a long terms focus, not a reactive or ideologically driven one. Quality, student protection, transparency and student choice are but some of the priorities.

Why long term?

We have all lived the last 2 years of real agony in VET, which has impacted on confidence and outcomes across Tertiary education. Put simply, there is overwhelming evidence of rorting and rent-seeking in VET.

The behaviour of a minority of providers and their brokers remains an outrage, which has also had a major impact on the majority of providers who were not attracted to short term profits from a loosely designed program.

You don’t need to believe me on this issue.

A federal court judge this week commented on  the VFH scheme.

"It is hard to avoid, whoever put this scheme together did not think it through very much," Justice Nye Perram said in Sydney on Thursday.

There you go.

I again reiterate that most did not pursue this approach. We must understand why and build on that.

On a positive note Minister Barilaro has been busy driving changes to the NSW VET sector. He announced major TAFE reforms this week. It is not my place to make comment on TAFE reform. However, we applaud the common sense and strategic approach being taken and are obsessively working on our part of the agenda. That is, working with our members to provide an assurance to Government that the ACPET logo will identify a provider who has taken additional significant steps to ensure an ethical approach to education.

These initiatives are expected to be announced at our National conference in Hobart on 24 – 26 August. We would love to see you there so please organise your registration.

Innovation is obviously key to our future.

I note with real interest that the LH Martin Institute is organising a study tour to learn how others are managing this complex issue.

LH Martin assert that while Australia has embarked on an ambitious innovation agenda, an effective approach needs to take into account the different roles that diverse partners and institutions play in a true innovation eco-system.

To learn from initiatives on this issue in other jurisdictions, LH Martin is leading a study mission to a select number of these innovation eco-systems in  Milan, Italy and Eindhoven and Enschede in the Netherlands.

Surprised at the venues?

Milan and Eindhoven have both been nominated as the European Innovation City for 2016, while the University of Twente, based in Enschede, has been named the Netherlands’ most entrepreneurial university in the 2015 Valorization (Commercialization) Ranking.

It's always clever to learn from someone else. Here is our chance to do exactly that.

More information can be found on the LH Martin website.

Research and evidence must be at the heart of our change agenda. We can't just say it but must do it.

Till next week.

Rod Camm


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