The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) has published its contribution to the tertiary debate in a discussion paper titled ‘Towards a Tertiary Future’ (published 21 November 2018).
In it, the IRU makes the case for a coherent tertiary education system that ensures each person has the opportunity and incentive to get the vocational and higher education qualifications, skills and knowledge to which they aspire.
Creating such a system should be a priority for the Australian Government following the 2019 election.
The focus should be:
- all post school education and training, with an effective relationship to schooling
- people, and the skills and knowledge they need, not providers. Providers are the tool.
To create an effective system, we need to understand the changed role of tertiary education:
- The economic and social reality is that nearly everyone now needs a post school qualification.
- Educating all to their need should not hold back learning of those most naturally suited to academic learning.
- Higher education is for all, not just the best and brightest.
- We have moved from the advantage of having a degree or trade to the disadvantage of not having either.
- There will be a greater overlap of earnings between those with higher education qualifications and those with VET qualifications.