The discussion paper Reforming Tertiary Education in Australia reviews the basis upon which tertiary education is constructed in Australia.
It suggests the theoretical underpinnings for Higher Education are flawed as a result of a misconception about the drivers of student access and success, and that the underpinnings of vocational education in Australia are based on discarded and unproven ideologies.
The proposition is advanced that in any reform of tertiary education the starting point has to be at the upper secondary education level. Drawing on an understanding of tertiary systems in Nordic countries, Germany and the nascent UK initiatives, a framework for reform is advanced that collapses Certificates I to III into the upper secondary professional certificate which is taught primarily in TAFE institutions. A minimum requirement of the upper secondary certificate is standards in literacy and numeracy together with digital competence.
An additional strand is added to Australia’s tertiary education framework through the creation of a binary system with a focus on applied universities. These universities are professional universities/university colleges and focus on applied learning underpinned by adult learning concepts and extensive lower level vocational programs.
These applied universities are designed to enhance diversity and provide an unencumbered pathway for young and mature age students to undertake advanced tertiary studies.
Issues are explored in regard to the advantages and barriers to the proposed reforms.
Reforming tertiary education in Australia
Download the discussion paper (PDF - 85kb)
Download the discussion paper (Word - 1mb)
Download the supplementary paper (PDF - 85kb)
Download the supplementary paper (Word - 253kb)