Creating a student-centric education system

Wednesday, 05 April, 2023

Creating a student-centric education system

A tertiary education system that is student-centric and more cohesive would be better positioned to address workforce shortages, according to the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA).

The Productivity Commission’s latest report, 5-year Productivity Inquiry: Advancing Prosperity, maps out what is required to create this kind of education system.

“The key to addressing workforce shortages and supporting students can be found through creating an integrated tertiary education system in which the skills training and higher education systems operate as one, yet retain their separate strengths and identities. Many of the recommendations in the Productivity Commission report seek that also,” said Troy Williams, Chief Executive at ITECA.

According to ITECA, is significant that the Productivity Commission has taken up many of its recommendations concerning student loan programs.

“One of the most egregious aspects of today’s tertiary education system is that many students pay a 20% student loan tax simply for choosing to study with an independent provider. It is welcome news that the Productivity Commission has made recommendations to end this discrimination,” Williams said.

Another recommendation taken up by the Productivity Commission is a proposal to consolidate the Australian Government’s various online platforms to guide student decision-making.

“The recommendation that the Australian Government’s microcredential information platform be extended to skills training courses and other well-recognised domestic course offerings is well overdue. It corrects a hitherto lost opportunity to help students make informed decision-making,” Williams said.

For Australia’s skills training system, one of the more significant recommendations from the Productivity Commission was that the Australian Government fund extra training and development programs for trainers and assessors so they can adequately perform independent and proficiency-based assessment.

“If the Australian Government made the recommended commitment to support the development of the skills training workforce, the ability of ITECA members to support the reskilling and upskilling of the Australian workforce would be significantly enhanced. That’s just what Australia needs at this crucial economic juncture,” Williams said.

Given the significance of the Productivity Commission’s report, ITECA will actively lobby the Australian Government for the adoption of key recommendations.

“The Commission’s report shows what a student-centric tertiary education system looks like, one that would be well-equipped to help Australia address its skills shortages,” Williams said.

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