Go8 Backgrounder 18 - Structural Diversity
Projections of future population and tertiary education participation indicate that Australia needs soon to start planning for another surge in school leavers entering tertiary education from 2015, together with increased demand for greater skills deepening by adult workers. If all of the future growth in demand was to be absorbed in universities, another 24 medium-sized institutions (around 15,000 domestic students) would be needed over the next thirty years.
But that would be an inappropriate way to accommodate the diverse mix of learners as well as an unaffordable strategy. It would also crowd universities at the undergraduate level at a time when demand for postgraduate qualifications is rising rapidly. Hence it is necessary to find cost-effective supply solutions that respond to the increasing and increasingly diverse demand from both students and employers in a way that ensures that Australia has sufficient scale capacity in fields of education and research which are most exposed to international competition.
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