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Education Training, Government Federal

Australian Universities Accord Final Report Is A Comprehensive But Incomplete Reform Roadmap

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) 2 mins read

The Australian Universities Accord Final Report is a comprehensive if incomplete roadmap for a high-quality and sustainable post-secondary education sector, according to the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the higher education, skills training and international education sectors.

“The significance of the Australian Universities Accord Final Report is in its very nature, it is institution-centric and doesn’t put students at the heart of the higher education sector,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

ITECA welcomes the report’s focus on improving access to higher education.

“The focus on addressing equity and skill requirements requires innovative approaches. The Review explores streamlining tertiary education and improving student access to higher education by eliminating barriers and fostering flexible pathways for broader success,” Mr Williams said.

Of concern is that the Australian Universities Accord Final Report has not leveraged the full capabilities of all providers in the higher education sector.

“The report sets out some ambitious reforms, but many students will be left behind as the policy options are not provider-agnostic. The report’s focus on public institutions offers little for students who want to achieve their life and career goals as a result of studying with an independent higher education provider,” Mr Williams said.

In explaining its position, ITECA draws attention to one of many recommendations that needs to be further refined with a student-centric focus.

“The recommendation to make Commonwealth Supported Places available to TAFE colleges shows where the report lets many students down. Any decisions here need to be student-centric and agnostic to provider type, allowing the student to choose either a public or higher education provider,” Mr Williams said.

Given the scale of the report, the task ahead for the Australian Government is significant, and ITECA looks forward to supporting the implementation phase.

“ITECA’s focus will be to ensure that students are at the heart of the higher education system. The bold and generally positive direction set out in the Australian Universities Accord Final Report can only be achieved with policy solutions that are agnostic as to provider type and back a student’s decision to embark on higher education with either independent or public institutions,” Mr Williams said.

Data shows that around 10% of the 1.6 million students in higher education chose to study with an independent provider.

Ends


About us:

ITECA Introduction:  Formed in 1992, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) is the peak body representing independent providers in the higher education, skills training, and international education sectors.


Contact details:

Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive
e: troy.williams@iteca.edu.au
m: 0400 599 934

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