ACPET

Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

The year is slipping by quickly

Monday, September 7 2015

I can’t comprehend its September – though I am doing my best to ignore the AFL finals!

Following on from our conference, I spent this week at our New Zealand counterparts event, the Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand (ITENZ) Business of Education Conference.

Our relationship with our New Zealand colleagues is very important to us and we look forward to developing a much closer relationship in the future.

The discussions were, not surprisingly somewhat familiar (noting the prevalence of acronyms, albeit different ones). The New Zealand system is somewhat more mature in its implementation of contestable funding arrangements. However, much of the discussions centred on the youth guarantee, qualification frameworks, completion and progression rates and quality in education.

New Zealand providers are discussing the merits of describing their status as Independent Providers rather than private, as it is seen to better reflect their organisational structures. This is a notion that has also been highlighted to me in Australia.

The funding and contract management and regulatory arrangements have many similarities, but there are also some stark differences.

Without getting in to the minutia, one outcome benchmark jumps off the page. If a Tertiary Provider’s completion rate falls below 70% they are called in to explain.

This level of completion is being achieved by many of our own Tertiary providers, but it is also a pipe dream for many others. 

It is hard not to agree that being brought to account for poor completion rates should be a feature of Australia’s educational framework. Naturally, peer reviewed and validated assessment and educational practices need to be linked to this measure.

On a different front the business of International Education continues at a pace.

You would recall ACPET led a successful delegation to Indonesia earlier this year. This has now culminated in ACPET this week, hosting delegates from Indonesia’s APTISI (Private Higher Education Association of Indonesia) to discuss ways the two countries can build on education initiatives and encourage collaboration between members.

Hosting the delegation from Australia’s closest neighbour in Perth is a fantastic opportunity to enhance cooperation between the Australian and Indonesian private training sectors and respond to identified skills development needs linked to economic growth opportunities.

Both the Australian and Indonesian governments have recently introduced educational initiatives in relation to private sector partnerships. Our countries are in the unique position to build on these initiatives, exchange information on education and training policy development, systems and standards.

But wait there is more! We are looking forward to cooperating on professional development programs for managers, academics and staff across the sector as well as discussing and optimising our response to any future employment trends and emerging industry and workforce needs.

To further a business relationship on this front, ACPET members are invited to join Trade & Investment Minister Andrew Robb on a mission from 17-20 November for Indonesia Australia Business Week (IABW). A major theme will be transnational skills across multiple industry streams. IABW sector streams reflect qualified Indonesian interest in vocational training, especially from Certificate II to V.  The mission will capitalise on the identification of 12 sectors into which Australian partners, course content and assessment are sought by Indonesia’s skills certification body (BNSP).

Austrade has already received interest from Indonesian companies for staff training in hospitality, culinary and allied health. The participation of BNSP will allow Australian education and training providers to test the efficacy of developing content for other prospective sectors.

Participants can benefit both from the mission’s education program and take part in one or more of the following industry streams:
• Agriculture & Aquaculture (Equipment Training & Services);
• Creative, Fashion & Design;
• Premium Food & Beverage;
• Urban Sustainability &Transport Connectivity; and
• Healthcare & Seniors Living.

Sectoral briefings, facilitated networking, and a skills round table will provide the opportunity to meet potential partners and understand the challenges and how to respond to them. IABW will also offer visits to operational sites in Bali and Jakarta.

To register, go to:
http://www.austrade.gov.au/events/indonesia-australia-business-week/indonesia-australia-business-week-2015

Having participated in the Australia Business Week in India I can assure you they are well resourced and supported events.

On a final issue, you may be tiring of my constant calls for better quality arrangements. I doubt you have heard the last from me. However, professionally developing your staff is a very important feature in assuring a provider’s own quality arrangements. 

I am pleased that ACPET members are getting involved with our upgraded approach to this important service.  We are experiencing great interest in our Brisbane Quality Compliance Workshop on the key non-compliances identified by ASQA, which is being held on Thursday 10 September (yes this week). It is not too late so please send along your key people.

Watch this space for our announcement on a series of National workshops aimed at helping members on both quality and engagement. Flyers will be going out this week.
 


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