Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

You would expect nothing else - another busy week in Tertiary Education

Monday, August 3 2015

We have not forgotten the Higher Education Reforms. They remain a critical piece for Australia to further establish its reputation as a world class system. The best way forward for the reforms still appears to be to segment the package. The first stage, which has widespread support, is to help build the non-university sector by removing or reducing the administration fee and to allocate CSPs to Non-University Higher Education Providers. As a component of the full package of reforms, this addresses the inequity for students and builds a competitive environment to support the future reforms.

This will be a topic of debate at our National Conference on 27 August, with both Minister Christopher Pyne and our Higher Education experts. The conference is the perfect opportunity for members to network and influence the future direction of Tertiary Education and ACPET. Limited tickets are still available at

In terms of future direction, this week I participated in the expert panel in the LH Martin Institute seminar, discussing the three-year Vocations project commissioned by NCVER and carried out by an LH Martin Institute-led consortium. The project, Vocations: the link between post-compulsory education and the labour market, proposes fundamental change for the way post-compulsory education is structured as a pathway into the labour market, not only for a first qualification but for additional qualifications over time.

With students demonstrating increasing portability across the labour market, this debate is timely. Only 42% of VET graduates go on to work in their industry of study, which challenges the notion of occupational specific qualifications, at least in some industries and qualifications (outside of apprenticeships). Our qualifications need to facilitate this portability to ensure high quality graduates. Australia genuinely needs more public policy discussion, debate and hard thinking about the direction of future reform. We do need to know where we are going as a system so I am hopeful this can be the start of a planned approach to skills policy.

Our Victorian team continues to deliver. Yes there has been much controversy in Victoria, with many other States citing the problems from Victoria’s approach as a reason to be very cautious about contestability. The Victorian Quality and Funding Reviews are both important to informing the discussion regarding establishing a framework that properly designs the market to better assure quality outcomes.

Last week saw the Victorian Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for International Education, Steve Herbert spend half of his busy day touring some of our high quality members, to observe what sets quality private providers apart and the important role we play in both international and domestic education. It was a genuine commitment by the Minister to learn more about great providers and we thank him for his preparedness to participate. ACPET will continue to represent our members, to demonstrate that ACPET membership is a real component of how to ensure government only deals with quality providers. 

While on the Victorian front, the link between education and sport has always been recognised as an important component to adding post sport employment options to our young elite athletes. ACPET is hosting an AFL Grand Final Breakfast at the MCG in Grand Final Week. AFL Footballers that have played in a Grand Final will be a part of the panel discussion that will take place in the lead up to the match.

The panel consists of former AFL players Ken Hunter (Carlton), Robert (Dipper) DiPierdomenico (Hawthorn) and Chris Johnson (Brisbane Lions). ACPET member AFL SportsReady General Manager Chris Naish (Richmond /Port Adelaide) will also showcase the important role they play in education and training for Indigenous people across Australia. This is a great chance to celebrate excellence in a relaxed environment.

On a final note, international education remains one of our highest priorities. ACPET participated in the Australia India Education Council last week, to further plan skills development strategies with India, under the auspices of the Free Trade Agreement. There remains considerable opportunities for ACPET members in the piloting of training programs in India.

This week sees the Australian International Education 2025 Roundtable. It remains critical to get the international strategy right.

Rod Camm


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