Improving Tertiary Education

The Australian Government invested $2.7 million over two years from 2022–23 to deliver the Australian Universities Accord through a 12-month review of Australia’s higher education system. 

The objective of the Accord was to devise recommendations and performance targets to improve the quality, accessibility, affordability and sustainability of higher education, in order to achieve long term security and prosperity for the sector and the nation. 

On 25 February 2024, the Hon Jason Clare MP, Minister for Education, released the Australian Universities Accord Final Report

The report notes that, ultimately, participation and successful completion needs to increase.  

Better pathways are discussed, with more seamless navigation available between VET and higher education. A National Skills Passport is recommended, as well as improvements to credit transfer and the recognition of prior learning process.  

Micro credentials are also recommended to allow flexible and efficient ways for people to attain the skills they need. Further supporting this is a recommendation to introduce a nationally consistent framework for careers advice for all stages of life. 

For these recommendations to be successfully realised, the Review notes that strong leadership, planning and collaboration is required.  

Recommendations include the requirement for new institutions, more diverse operating models, and more cross-provision between VET and higher education, including the opportunity to expand the role of TAFEs.  

In light of this, the review recommends the implementation and establishment of the Australian Tertiary Education Commission with an important part of their remit being to drive stronger alignment between VET and higher education.  

It is important for the VET sector and related stakeholders to engage with this process in an ongoing manner, particularly as the report notes that one way to support current skills needs is to at least double the number of Commonwealth supported students in universities. 

We must not let the value of a VET qualification be impacted through this process. 

To read the Review visit the Department of Education website