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Australian Universities Accord – RMIT response

RMIT University 2 mins read

Australian Universities Accord 


Attributable to: Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University 

Topics: planning the tertiary education system of the future, a more flexible and responsive skills system, integration of vocational and higher education to take tackle skills crisis, establishing an Australian Tertiary Education Commission 

“RMIT welcomes the commitment of the Albanese government and Minister Clare, working with the expertise of Professor Mary O’Kane and the Accord panel, to recommend essential reform of the tertiary education system.”   

“To support lifelong learning and economic productivity, the current system needs transformative innovation.”   

“Australia needs a national, inclusive tertiary education system that can address pressing skills shortages and the rapidly changing nature of work.”  

“We welcome measures to widen access and participation in undergraduate education, but this alone will not address the skills crisis or help Australians remain employed.”  

“It will be through practical changes like ‘earn and learn’ offerings developed with industry, as well as modular, stackable and transferable units of study, that we will create a more inclusive skills-based tertiary system that is accessible through the many different stages of life.”     

“In our shared pursuit of a more equitable and prosperous Australia, change is necessary if we are to level what is arguably the most important playing field of all.”  


Mish Eastman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, College of Vocational Education 

Topics: degree and higher apprenticeships, work integrated learning reform and better partnerships between government, tertiary providers, industry and unions, National Skills Passport, growth in dual sector institutions. 

As Australia’s largest dual sector university, we know first-hand the need to create more seamless pathways between vocational and higher education, supported by the right policy and funding models, if we are to tackle the real and pressing skills shortages in our communities. 

“RMIT supports the report’s recommendation for stronger partnerships between government, tertiary providers, industry and unions, through TAFE Centres of Excellence, Jobs and Skills Australia and Ministerial Advisory Boards.  

RMIT is focused on ensuring lifelong learning can be a reality for more Australians, with proven ‘earn and learn’ models that can offer a large cohort of mid-tier workers access to skills without forcing them to make a choice between re-training and income.   

To make a step change in addressing the skills crisis, proven new models of education are needed. Examples such as RMIT’s higher and degree apprenticeships developed with industry move seamlessly between vocational and higher education, producing real and tangible results for employers.  

“Tertiary education reform that commits to these new models will enable RMIT and other dual sector universities to do this at scale to address critical skills shortages. 



  • Two unique ‘earn and learn’ programs delivered by RMIT have placed more than 500 new workers in the aged care sector while upskilling another 380 to meet the need for more qualified disability care works.  
  • The programs used a 70:20:10 model with 70 per cent experiential learning, 20 per cent through peer, mentors, and supervisors’ relationships and the remaining 10 per cent from the formal learning component of the course.   
  • One of the higher apprenticeship pilots that RMIT developed with government and seven industry partners saw a qualification completion success rate of 87.5 per cent – far higher than the norm for diploma-level qualifications in Australia. 


Interview opportunities: For media assistance or to arrange an interview with Professor Alec Cameron or Mish Eastman contact Karen Phelan via 0420 557 114.

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