Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

In Focus

Monday, July 28 2014

Good Morning Everyone,

I want to provide some commentary on the following three areas:

1. Higher Education

It is really important for all private Higher Education providers to provide whatever support is possible to the proposed changes to Higher Education. I am aware that we will not all agree with some of the details but that debate is clearly secondary to the need to support the thrust of the reforms.

Extension of choice to the private sector is a fundamental shift in higher education funding and is long overdue. Governments of all persuasions are happy to support choice between the public and private provision of services in the health care sector, in schools and increasingly in the VET Sector but for some reason there is hesitation about extending this general principle to the Higher Education Sector.

Deregulation of price is another key plank of the reforms proposed by Minister Pyne. Again it is difficult to understand why there would be any philosophical reason for disagreeing with this proposal. 

These issues will be explored in greater depth at the upcoming ACPET Conference and it would be good to have as many providers as possible involved in those discussions. It is also important that between now and when these proposed changes are considered by the Parliament that we all make an effort to explain the advantages of the private higher education to our local Members of Parliament and the population at large. The ACPET Board will be considering a number of communication strategies in the coming weeks.

2. VET Regulation

I attended a round table meeting hosted by ASQA last week and was provided with an update  of ASQA’s move to increase its reliance on a risk based approach to regulation. Chris Robinson is happy for those in attendance to share some of the documentation provided and to provide a comment on progress. This information will be provided to ACPET members through the member only section of our web page. I will have this loaded by the middle of next week and invite all members to access this important information and to provide feedback.

(As part of ACPET’s push to provide greater value to members, an increasing amount of the more substantive information will be enclosed in the Member Only section of our webpage.)

3. International Education.

ACPET staff had a number of meetings with a recent Indian delegation who provided some insights into developments in the Indian training system. A number of members who have attempted to engage with the Indian training market have found it difficult because of the low levels of funding available. Certainly some members have found models that have worked for their particular businesses but some have found it difficult to find a workable business model.

The move by India to introduce a community Service Levy on company profits has resulted in an increase in funding levels for activities funded by private industry. It may be worth reconsidering engagement in the emerging training market in India given this move.

It is also interesting to note that the Indian government has put considerable effort into ensuring not only that there is a unique student identifier which will enable students to access their records easily it will also prevent students  enrolling in multiple courses with no employment outcomes. They have also increased the emphasis and funding for programs that result in employment outcomes. I found it particularly interesting that the Indian government is not concerned where those employment outcomes are. In fact many of the jobs that graduates go to are in foreign countries especially the Middle East.

The Indian Government appears to recognise that they are in a global market but in Australia we are still arguing about whether RTO’s from one State are eligible to deliver training in an adjoining State. There is also work taking place on the development of transnational competency frameworks.

India is not the only country taking a global view of training and the labour market at is important that Australia remains competitive in this market and does not get stuck in a narrow set of parochial  policy debates and settings.


Enjoy your week and as always if you wish to seek clarification on or debate any of these issues please feel free to contact me on or on 0439 995 571.

Larry Davies


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