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The Review of the Higher Education Category Standards claims to be a review rationalising underutilised and inefficient categories. It does not acknowledge that tertiary education and provider categories are vital instruments for state and Federal governments to stimulate economic and social policy. By requiring all universities to be research universities it reduces Australia’s capacity to revitalise its tertiary arrangements and limits the capacity of governments to stimulate economic and social reform. In a benchmarking exercise, the Review sought to internationalise itself by referring to higher education systems in 17 countries. In over 70 per cent of these countries, the key distinguishing feature was that they ran parallel university systems. That is, some were research-focused universities and others were applied/professional universities with strong links to industry and the community.

Based on the weight of international evidence, the Review had the opportunity to create a parallel university system focused on improving access and equity, strengthening industry and community linkages, improving the status and opportunities for VET systems and students, and strengthening our skilled and paraprofessional workforce. This strategy could have been a tonic to an economy that is teetering on recession.

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November 2019

Bruce Mackenzie Mackenzie Research Institute 

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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